College field hockey is underway; here are more predictions from conference coaches: Big East

College field hockey kicked off yesterday.


And, its start is what every hockey lover was waiting for.


FAN published earlier this week several coaches preseason predictions of what the 2023 season would look like in the end.


Here are the preseason playmakers and Big East Conference picks, according to conference coaches.


“Big East defending tournament champion Liberty was tabbed by the field hockey head coaches as the preseason favorite in the 2023 Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Thursday by the league office. The Lady Flames were just one point away from earning a unanimous decision.


Old Dominion senior forward Marlon de Bruijne garnered Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Liberty graduate defender Bethany Dykema has been voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Liberty senior midfielder Reagan Underwood and Quinnipiac graduate midfielder Stella Tegtmeier split Preseason Midfielder of the Year honors, while Liberty senior Azul Iritxity Irigoyen captured Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year accolades.


After capturing its second consecutive Big East tournament crown, Liberty received six out of a possible seven first-place votes and 48 points to sit atop the Big East Preseason Poll for the second consecutive season.


Old Dominion, the top-seed in the 2022 Big East Championship Presented by JEEP, edged Connecticut by one point in the preseason poll, garnering 41 points compared to the Huskies’ 40 points. The Huskies, however, received the remaining two first-place votes.


Rounding out the top-four, Temple earned 31 points a year removed from coming up short in a shootout against Old Dominion in the Big East semifinals.


Providence placed fifth in the poll, edging Villanova 21-20 in total points, while Quinnipiac (14 points) and Georgetown (nine points) rounded out the standings.


Old Dominion’s de Bruijne, the reigning Big East Offensive Player of the Year, scored a Big East high 34 points and 14 goals in 18 starts. Earning the start in all seven league appearances, de Bruijne notched four goals and four assists to lead the Monarchs to a share of the Big East regular season title and the tournament’s top-seed. The native of Den Bosch, Netherlands, earned First Team All-Big East honors, Second Team NFHCA All-South Region Team accolades and was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week three times.


Liberty’s Underwood controlled the midfield for the Lady Flames, dishing out eight assists in 2022. Underwood played a major role in the Big East Championship game against top-seeded Old Dominion, tallying an assist on Dykema’s game-winning goal.


Most recently, she represented USA Field Hockey at the Junior Pan American Championships during the spring, helping USAFH to the gold medal for the first time since 2008. She scored the only goal in regulation for Team USA and tallied the winner in the shootout, lifting the American squad to a 1-1 (4-1 shootout) victory over Argentina.


Quinnipiac’s Tegtmeier will once again look to lead the Bobcats’ offensive attack after capping the 2022 season with career-high totals of eight goals, eight assists and 24 points. Of her 24 points on the season, 15 points were tallied in Quinnipiac wins, while notching at least one point in seven of the Bobcats’ eight victories. Overall, she earned All-Big East First Team honors and NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region First Team accolades.


Entering her fifth season anchoring the Lady Flames’ backline, Dykema capped the 2022 campaign with eight goals and a career-best and team-high 12 assists, accumulating 28 points in 20 starts. Her 12 assists tied for the third most in a season in program history, and she finished the year ranked No. 18 nationally in assists per game (0.60). In the Big East Championship game, she tallied the game-winning goal in the 54th minute, to lock up the Lady Flames’ spot in the NCAA Championship. Dykema enters her final campaign in the top 10 in program history in career assists (tied for third, 34) and points (10th, 76), in addition to ranking 11th in school history with 21 goals.


A stalwart in the cage for the Lady Flames, Iritxity Irigoyen returns for her senior season fresh off being named the Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player and being honored on the NFHCA All-America Second Team. She finished the 2022 season with a 12-8 record, 1.10 goals against average (ninth nationally), eight shutouts (most in program history), a .761 save percentage and 70 saves.


In regular season conference games, she posted a 6-1 record, a league-best 0.14 goals-against-average, six shutouts and a .947 save percentage. In the Big East Championship against Connecticut and Old Dominion, Iritxity Irigoyen registered 13 saves and surrendered just two goals to lead Liberty to its second straight Big East title. In the NCAA Championship Sweer 16 match at No. 2 Maryland she matched a career-high with 12 saves.


Overall, she enters her senior season first in program history for career shutouts (17), wins (43) and goals-against average (1.15) and second in save percentage (.758)


In addition to the poll and preseason awards, the conference also released the Preseason All-Big East Team.


The 13-member squad includes four forwards, three midfielders, five defenders and a goalkeeper. Two players were unanimous selections: Dykema and Iritxity Irigoyen.
The preseason all-conference team is listed below.


Field Hockey gets underway on Friday, Aug. 25. Big East play starts Friday, Sept. 15.

BIG EAST Preseason Field Hockey Coaches’ Poll
(first-place votes)
1. Liberty (6)                      48
2. Old Dominion                41
3. UConn (2)                      40
4. Temple                           31
5. Providence                     21
6. Villanova                        20
7. Quinnipiac                     14
8. Georgetown                  9

Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year
Marlon de Bruijne, F, Sr., Old Dominion

Preseason BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of the Year
Reagan Underwood, M, Sr., Liberty
Stella Tegtmeier, M, Grad., Quinnipiac

Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
Bethany Dykema, B, Grad., Liberty

Preseason BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year
Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, GK, Sr., Liberty

Preseason All-BIG EAST Team ^
Azul Iritxity Irigoyen, GK, Sr., Liberty *
Jodie Conolly, B, Grad., Liberty
Bethany Dykema, B, Grad., Liberty
Nicole Fredericks, B, Grad., Old Dominion
Eleonore De Keyser, B, Sr., Providence
Sabine De Ruijter, B, Sr., Villanova
Reagan Underwood, M, Sr., Liberty
Stella Tegtmeier, M, Grad., Quinnipiac
Sol Simone, M, So., UConn
Tess Muller, F, So., Temple
Meghan Mitchell, F., Sr., Villanova
Marlon de Bruijne, Sr., F, Old Dominion *
Julia Bressler, F, So., UConn

*unanimous selection
^ due to ties in voting there are extra members on the All-BIG EAST Team

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