Field Hockey Opens NorPac Championships Thursday
After a regular season campaign that saw the Pacific Field Hockey team finish 4-13 in overall, including 2-4 in the NorPac conference, the Tigers will have a chance to begin anew. The playing field is leveled starting Thursday at the NorPac Championships in Lynchburg, Va., on the campus of Liberty University.
Pacific, the No. 3W seed in the West by virtue of a goal differential tiebreaker against No. 4W seed California, will take on No. 2E seed Longwood in the last game of the day on Thursday. Pass back is at 3:30pm Pacific time and the game will be streamed online via the Big South Network.
The Tigers will come into the contest with a clear focus and purpose, knowing that three wins in three days would ensure a NCAA Play-In Game berth. The Orange and Black will try to continue a balanced scoring approach that has seen goals from 11 different scorers. Senior co-captain Emily Tregoning leads the team with 7 goals and 4 assists.
Coach Andy Smith looks at the championships as an opportunity for the team to prove its ability to compete for a conference title.
"The great thing about the NorPac tournament is that the results that have gone before don't matter", Smith said. "Everyone walks in to Liberty this week 0-0. We have a tough road ahead of us but we truly believe that on our day we can beat anyone."
Longwood comes into the NorPac championships with a record of 8-11 overall, including 6-2 in conference play. Stacey de Grandhomme leads the Lancers with 25 points, including 12 goals and 1 assist, which is good for second overall in conference. Goalkeeper Kaye Goulding has held opponents to a 3.11 GAA average, good for sixth in the NorPac.
"Longwood are a very good and very well coached team who will be a good test for us," Smith said of the first round opponent from Farmville, Va.
Following the contest Thursday, Pacific will face either Stanford or Davidson on Friday, depending on the results of first round action. All games of the NorPac championships will be streamed live online via the Big South Network.