Posted: Jun 16, 2015
The field hockey team will start its season by playing three familiar non-conference opponents in Ferrum, Bethany, and Wilson. In the 2014 season, the Maroons were victorious against all three opponents by scores of 5-0, 3-2 and 3-2 respectively. Ferrum is in only its second full year of competition, while Bethany is in their fourth full season as a varsity program. Wilson will now be competing for an automatic post-season bid, as the North Eastern Athletic Conference has added field hockey as a sponsored sport starting this fall.
The Maroons will open conference play with back-to-back games at Randolph-Macon (9/19) and at home vs. Lynchburg on Sept. 22. The Yellow Jackets, who have one ODAC Championship to their claim (1991), were fourth in the ODAC last fall, including a 3-0 win over Roanoke last year. R-MC played in four-straight ODAC Championship games (2010-13), making them an annual title contender. The Hornets finished 15-7, which included an 11-game win-streak entering the NCAA Tournament. Lynchburg won its ninth-straight ODAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive year in 2014.
Roanoke will have to follow their ODAC-opening week with two difficult non-conference contests to close out September. They will first host Christopher Newport (9/25), who went 12-7 last year and advanced to the CAC Championship game. The Captains fell to the nations' #1 team, Salisbury in overtime, breaking CNU's streak of eight-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. CNU advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in 2013. The Maroons will face Rhodes on Sept. 27 at Kerr Stadium. The Lynx went 14-4 last year and lost in their conference championship, ending their five-year run as conference champions. Rhodes made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2011, advancing to the Round of 16 in 2010. Since 2004, Rhodes have claimed the regular season conference title in 10 of the last 11 years.
Another string of conference matches will come along to start the month of October that includes a home contest against Shenandoah (10/3) and two away matches at Washington and Lee (10/7) and Eastern Mennonite (10/13). Since entering the ODAC, Shenandoah has advanced to the ODAC semifinals in each of the last three seasons. The Hornets won a program-record 12 games last fall, including a 6-2 mark in conference play. Washington and Lee, who won its only ODAC Championship in 2005, saw a six-win turnaround from the previous season. Eastern Mennonite has been a perennial power in the ODAC, claiming 11 ODAC Championships and nine NCAA Tournament appearances. The Royals, who last won the ODAC in 2003, played in four-straight conference championship games (2006-09). EMU will start this season with a new coach, E.A. Jackson.
The Maroons return home to Salem for a three-game stretch that will start with two non-conference opponents in Hendrix (10/17) and Transylvania (10/19), followed by Bridgewater in an ODAC contest. Hendrix advanced to the conference semifinals for only the second time in its eight-year history, while this will be the first meeting against Transylvania. Bridgewater enjoyed a banner year, advancing to the ODAC Championship game for the first time in its history. The Eagles won 12 games for the second-straight year, which is a program-record.
Roanoke will travel to Ferrum on Oct. 28 to finish its non-conference schedule. The last match of the regular season will be a conference match, at home against Virginia Wesleyan. The Marlins, who won their only ODAC Title in 2004, defeated the Maroons, 1-0 last fall.
The field hockey team will return two All-ODAC selections for the upcoming season. Shelbi Holloman was awarded First-Team All-ODAC honors and Kellie Jasinski was named Second-Team All-ODAC. The junior duo of attackers will look to provide big numbers for the Maroons this fall.