After a 20 season hiatus, Dean College has resurrected its field hockey program and the Bulldogs will play a 15-game schedule beginning with the season opener against Rivier University on Friday, August 31.
Leader Of The Pack
Last September, the College tabbed Lisa Cropper to become the program's ninth head coach. A well-known name in the field hockey community, Cropper won a national championship during her collegiate playing days at the University of Connecticut and had most recently led Franklin High to four Hockomock League titles. Over the summer, Cropper played for Team USA at the Field Hockey World Cup in Terrassa, Spain.
In addition to Cropper's storied playing career, assistant coach Cam Tietje has some accolades of her own. She was a two-time all-conference performer at Smith College, finishing with 30 victories in the cage for the Pioneers while posting ten career shutouts. Tietje ranks first in school history in goals against average (2.54), second in goalie games played (63) and fifth in career saves (408).
When she steps on the field in the opener, it will mark the fourth sport Jamaya Cleveland (Greensboro, Ga.) will have played since she arrived at Dean. Last season she was a member of the cross country team in the fall and then started 13 games in goal for the women's lacrosse team in the spring. Her marquee sport, however, is basketball where she was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Defensive Player of the Year last season after guiding the Bulldogs to a share of the NECC regular season title. Her field hockey teammates thought so highly of her though, she was named one of the team's four captains.
More Double Dippers
In addition to Cleveland, four other field hockey student-athletes were on other teams a season ago. Rocky Cabral (Dorchester, Mass.), Makayla Fisher (Irvington, N.J.), Genesis Johnson (Norwalk, Conn.) and Hannah Salvadore (Barre, Mass.) all suited up for the women's lacrosse team last spring.
Of the 16 student-athletes that comprise the 2018 Dean field hockey team, ten of them are freshmen, while four others are sophomores.
What Lies Ahead
Among the Bulldogs' 15 game slate are seven home contests, including a Friday Night Lights showdown on September 7 at 7:00 p.m. with a Sage College team that is starting field hockey this season as well. Other compelling home games include visits from Fitchburg State, in an early morning Saturday meeting (September 29) and a visit from league preseason favorite, New England College (Tuesday, October 23).
The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) have agreed to an alliance in the sports of field hockey and men's lacrosse. In field hockey, the NECC's four teams (Becker, Dean, Elms and New England College) will welcome the NAC's three teams (Husson University, University of Maine-Farmington and Thomas College) as associate members.