The UMaine field hockey team is picked to finish third in America East Conference(East Division). Stanford is picked to finish first in America East(West Division).

What? UMaine and Stanford playing in the same conference?

Yup. At least for the next two years in the sport of field hockey.

Four California schools (Stanford, Pacific, California and UC Davis) have become associate members of America East (UMaine, Albany, UNH, Vermont and UMass Lowell). This allows AE to keep its automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs.

The NorPac Conference folded after last season and America East lost associate member Fairfield to the MAAC conference. That left AE with just five schools.

Teams won't meet during the regular season but the top four teams from both AE east and west divisions will meet for the conference championship in November.

The Black Bears(10-10 last season) open their season August 28th vs LaSalle

Here's the preseason coaches poll...

2015 Field Hockey Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)

East Division
 1. Albany (4), 16 pts.
 2. New Hampshire (1), 12
 3. Maine, 11
 4. Vermont, 6
 5. UMass Lowell, 5

West Division
   1. Stanford (3), 9 pts.
 T2. Pacific (1), 5
 T2. California, 5
 T2. UC Davis, 5