Cassandra Wagner
Cassandra Wagner
Rick Voight

Field Hockey Ranked No. 9 In NFHCA Preseason Poll

August 26, 2014
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NHFCA) has released their 2014 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll on Tuesday morning, and the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs start the season ranked ninth out of 20 teams.

Last week, the Lady Monarchs received one first-place vote and 21 points to earn the second-place spot in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll. ODU completed the 2013 season ranked sixth in the NFHCA poll and will take on nine teams that are ranked in the 2014 NFHCA Preseason Poll this season.

ODU’s 23-player roster features three returning all-conference players in seniors Rosario Villagra and Kelsey Smither along with junior Sarah Breen.

Villagra finished the season with a team-leading 41 points on 14 goals and 13 assists. She was not only the BIG EAST Player of the Year, but a First Team All-BIG EAST selection and an NFHCA All-South Region Team member. For the 2014 season, Villagra was picked to repeat as the Conference’s Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST squad.

As a midfielder last season, Smither led all Lady Monarchs with 14 assists and finished third on the team in points. At the end of the season, she earned Second Team All-America, All-BIG EAST First Team and NFHCA All-South Region honors. For the 2014 season, Smither was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team.

Breen also returns for the Lady Monarchs’ offense, after finishing second on the team in points with 27 (12g, 3a). She earned a Second Team All-BIG EAST nod and was a member of the NFHCA All-South Region Second Team a season ago.

The Lady Monarchs begin their regular season campaign on Friday when they travel to No. 8 Penn State for a 5:00 p.m. contest. ODU then visits No. 19 American on Sunday in Washington, D.C. at 1:00 p.m.

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Institution Points (first place votes)
1. University of Maryland 881 (22)
2. University of North Carolina 855 (8)
3. University of Connecticut 831 (14)
4. Duke University 766 (1)
5. Syracuse University 729 (1)
6. University of Virginia 572
7. Princeton University 571
8. Penn State University 552
9. Old Dominion University 516
10. University of Massachusetts 406
11. Wake Forest University 381
12. Stanford University 366
13. Boston College 361
14. Northwestern University 303
15. University of Louisville 258
16. Michigan State University 216
17. University of Michigan 204
18. University of Delaware 194
19. American University 186
20. University of Iowa 173 (1)

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