Stockton, Calif. - The 2014 Pacific Field Hockey campaign opens this weekend with a pair of matches against 2013 NCAA Tournament participants. The Tigers will host division foe and 2013 NorPac champion Liberty (6:00 pm Friday) as well as No. 18 Delaware (6:00 pm Saturday) at Stanford's Varsity Field Turf.
The Tigers (5-14, 2-4 NorPac West in 2013) will immediately see division play as the Orange and Black will compete with Liberty in the NorPac East following the elimination of the Radford program and the departure of Davidson and Longwood to the Atlantic 10 and MAC, respectively.
The Pacific roster is full of experience as well as youth as co-captains Erica Gordon and Malia Robertson join 17 other returning Tigers. Among the returners, Leah Cofer, Nicole Laskosky and Kyleigh Morrison led the way in 2013 with a pair of goals each. Gordon contributed five defensive saves while Molly Macierz and Maggie Corder each shared time in goal.
As one of the most international teams in the nation, Pacific also welcomes nine newcomers from across the globe with Belgium (Axelle Steffen), Canada (Hannah Tvergyak), Mexico (Ali Campos) South Africa (Savannah Burns), Spain (Cristina Castella and Alicia Muiños) as well as the United States represented (Bryanna Flanagan, Allie Konkol and Emma Leach).
On Friday, Pacific will look to contend with Liberty's Barr sisters: Natalie, Serena and Bethany, who combined for 32 goals a season ago as the Flames took home the NorPac championship. Junior Mallory Cuccio takes over in goal after seeing action in just three contests in 2013.
Delaware returns seven starters from the 2013 CAA Championship squad, including leading goal scorer Michaela Patzner and assist co-leader Meghan Winesett. 2013 goalie Sarah Scher is a key loss for the Blue Hens, who will rely on a trio of freshman between the pipes in 2014.
Live Stats for each of the weekend's contests are available via PacificTigers.com - Be sure to follow @PacificTigersFH on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from Palo Alto.