ST. LOUIS – As the start of the field hockey season approaches, the Atlantic 10 Conference released its annual preseason poll of the league's head coaches and Saint Louis was predicted to finish eighth in the league.

The Billikens are making strides under third-year head coach Danielle Baumgardner. Last season, the Billikens' four wins were the most since the 2008 season, and they put together a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2004.

Saint Louis returns two of its top three scorers from a year ago. Carly Kissinger (5G, 4A) was named A-10 Player of the Week last September. Erica Bondoc (3G, 3A) scored a pair of goals in the A-10 match against Richmond, the first time a Billiken has scored multiple goals in a conference match since 2006.

Seven newcomers join the roster this season including goalie Sasha Sander, who figures to see the majority of time this season in the cage.

The Billikens are on the road for their first seven matches this season, including this weekend when they take on LIU Brooklyn (Friday, Aug. 24), Central Michigan (Sunday, Aug. 26) and Colgate (Monday, Aug. 27) at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

2018 Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Preseason Poll
Number in parentheses indicates first-place votes.

1. Saint Joseph's (8)
2. Massachusetts (1)
3. Richmond
4. VCU
5. Lock Haven
6. Saint Francis
7. La Salle
8. Saint Louis
9. Davidson