North Carolina Picked as ACC Field Hockey Preseason Favorite
GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Carolina received 34 points and is the preseason favorite to claim the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship, according to a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.
The Tar Heels, who have reached the semifinals of the NCAA Championship the past seven years, garnered four votes for first place, ahead of Virginia, which received one first place vote and 28 points.
Defending national champion Syracuse was picked third with 27 points and received two first place votes. Duke was picked to finish in fourth with 22 points, ahead of Wake Forest (14 points), Louisville (12), and Boston College (10).
Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia all had two players recognized on the preseason team.
Six of the 11 on the preseason squad were named Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans in 2015, including three who earned first team honors: Syracuse’s Laura Hurff, and Virginia’s Tara Vittese and Lucy Hyams. Vittese was also named the National Player of the Year by the NFHCA.
ACC teams have won 18 of the 35 NCAA field hockey titles, including 11 of the last 14, and at least one ACC squad has advanced to the national championship for 17 straight years. All seven ACC programs earned bids to the 2015 NCAA Championship and all seven finished the 2015 season ranked nationally.
The 2016 season gets underway this weekend with all seven teams in action. The 2016 ACC Field Hockey Championship will be held Nov. 3-6 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.