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League claims six of the eight at-large spots and all four host sites
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – All seven ACC field hockey teams are headed to the 2013 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, announced Sunday night by the NCAA Field Hockey Committee. The league claimed six of the eight at-large spots in the tournament and all four host sites were awarded to ACC programs.
The announcement of seven bids sets a new league record, breaking the old mark of five set six times previously. It is the second time that the entire league is postseason bound, as all five ACC squads in 1999 were awarded with a bid. At least half of the league has earned a bid for 19 straight years.
Top-ranked Maryland clinched the league’s automatic berth by winning the ACC Championship and earned the No. 1 overall seed. Syracuse, North Carolina, and Duke also were selected as host sites and will host the first and second rounds. Boston College, Virginia, and Wake Forest will begin postseason play on the road.
No. 1 Maryland (20-1) will make its 19th consecutive trip to the postseason when it hosts Penn State, Princeton, and the winner of the Quinnipiac/American play-in game. The Terrapins, who reached the national semifinals last year and have eight national titles, defeated both Princeton and American during the regular season.
No. 2 Syracuse (16-3), which reached the national semifinals in 2012, will welcome Boston College (12-7) and UConn to campus and will play the winner of Michigan State and Miami (Ohio) in the first round. The Eagles, making their eighth postseason appearance and first since 2009, defeated the Huskies in overtime, 4-3, on Oct. 6.
No. 3 North Carolina (16-5) will host Wake Forest, Old Dominion, and the winner of the Delaware/Liberty play-in game. The Tar Heels have reached the tournament in 30 of the last 31 years, winning six national titles, and reached the national championship game last year. The Demon Deacons (11-8), who have won three national titles in program history, earned their first bid since 2010 and will face the Monarchs in the opening game.
No. 4 Duke (14-6) claimed the final host spot and will play New Hampshire to open the tournament. Also in Durham, N.C., Virginia (15-5) and Massachusetts will face off in the first round as the Cavaliers make their 19th NCAA appearance.
The first round on Saturday, Nov. 16, and the second round on Sunday, Nov. 17, will be held at campus sites. The semifinals and championship, hosted by Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va., will be played on Nov. 22 and 24.
ACC field hockey teams have won 10 of the last 11 national championships and 17 overall. The national championship game has been an all-ACC matchup in eight of the last 10 years.