Field Hockey Ranked No. 9 In NFHCA Preseason Poll
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.
|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)|