North Carolina Field Hockey Selected as Preseason Favorite

Maryland placed second, Duke third in vote of head coaches
(Pictured: North Carolina field hockey at the 2012 ACC Championship, by Chuck Liddy)

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – North Carolina received six first place votes and is the preseason favorite to claim the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship, according to a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.

The Tar Heels, who won the 2012 ACC Championship and advanced to the national championship game, claimed the maximum 36 possible points. Maryland, which has won two of the last three national championships, was picked second with 31 points. The ballot awarded six points for each first-place vote, five points for second place, etc., and coaches were not allowed to vote on their own team.

Duke was picked third, just ahead of league newcomer Syracuse in fourth. Wake Forest, Virginia, and Boston College rounded out the preseason voting.

All seven league programs are represented on the Preseason All-ACC Team, led by the Terrapins with three players selected. North Carolina and Virginia have two players apiece, followed by Boston College, Duke, Syracuse, and Wake Forest with one player recognized.

Eight of the 11 on the preseason squad were named Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans in 2012, including North Carolina’s Charlotte Craddock and Syracuse’s Laura Hahnefeldt, who were selected to the first team. Eight were named to the 2012 All-ACC Team, and Tar Heel Emily Wold was voted as the Freshman of the Year.

Three current league teams – Maryland, North Carolina, and Syracuse – advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Championship. ACC squads have won 17 of the 32 NCAA titles, including 10 of the last 11, and at least one ACC team has advanced to the national championship for 14 straight years.

All seven ACC programs finished the 2012 season ranked nationally, including four teams in the top 10. The 2013 season gets under way the weekend of Aug. 30.

2013 Predicted Order of Finish
Team      Points
North Carolina (6)      36
Maryland (1)      31
Duke      23
Syracuse      22
Wake Forest      15
Virginia      13
Boston College      7
2013 Preseason All-ACC Team
Emma Plasteras      Junior      Midfield      Boston College
Paula Heimbach      Senior      Defense      Duke
Ali McEvoy      Senior      Defense      Maryland
Jill Witmer      Senior      Forward      Maryland
Maxine Fluharty      Junior      Midfield/Forward      Maryland
Charlotte Craddock      Junior      Forward      North Carolina
Emily Wold      Sophomore      Midfield/Back      North Carolina
Laura Hahnefeldt      Senior      Back      Syracuse
Elly Buckley      Senior      Forward      Virginia
Jenny Johnstone      Junior      Goalkeeper      Virginia
Anna Kozniuk      Junior      Back/Midfield      Wake Forest