North Carolina Favored to Win Top Honors in ACC Field Hockey

Aug. 23, 2011

Greensboro, N.C. – 2010 national runner-up North Carolina received four first place votes and is the preseason favorite to claim the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Championship according to a vote of the league’s six head coaches.

The Tar Heels matched their preseason point total from last year, collecting 24 out of a possible 25 points. First place votes were awarded five points, second place received four, etc., and coaches were not allowed to include their own teams in their predicted order of finish.

Maryland, the 2010 ACC and NCAA Champion, came in second with 22 points and two first place votes. Virginia took third place with 14 points, followed by Duke and Wake Forest in fourth place with 12 points apiece, and Boston College in sixth with six points.

Five different squads were represented on the preseason All-ACC squad. North Carolina and Maryland lead the league with three honorees each, Duke and Virginia both had two players and Boston College had one representative.

The 2011 All-ACC Preseason squad is headlined by Caitlin Van Sickle, the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and Jill Witmer, the 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year. Van Sickle is joined by teammates Kelsey Kolojejchick and Katelyn Falgowski as the three Tar Heel representatives. Witmer, an attacker from Maryland, is joined by teammates Megan Frazer and Harriet Tibble.

Duke is represented by Stefanie Fee and goalkeeper Samantha Nelson. Boston College’s Maike de Jager and Virginia teammates Rachel Jennings and Elly Buckley complete the 2011 preseason team.

North Carolina comes off a 2010 campaign in which it went 22-3 overall and 4-1 in league play. After defeating Maryland in 2009 to win the NCAA Championship, the Tar Heels fell to the Terrapins in 2010 in the finals in a double-overtime thriller.

Maryland enters the 2011 season as the defending ACC and National Champions, but will have to overcome the loss of Katie O’Donnell, the 2010 National Player of the Year. O’Donnell, who was also named the 2010-11 Mary Garber Award winner as the top ACC female athlete, led the Terrapins to a 23-1 overall record and 5-0 mark in conference play.

The 2010 season saw four league teams earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Virginia reached the Semifinals before falling in overtime to North Carolina.

The 2011 season gets started Friday, August 26th with Boston College, Duke, Maryland, and Virginia all in action. The 2011 ACC Field Hockey Championship will be held November 3, 4, and 6 at the University of Maryland.

2011 Predicted Order of Finish (as selected by the league’s coaches)

Preseason Rank School Points Record
1 North Carolina 24 22-3 (4-1)
2 Maryland 22 23-1 (5-0)
3 Virginia 14 18-4 (3-2)
4 Duke 12 8-11 (0-5)
4 Wake Forest 12 10-10 (1-4)
6 Boston College 6 12-7 (2-3)

2011 Preseason All-ACC Team (as selected by the league’s coaches)

Name School Year Position
Maike de Jager Boston College Senior M
Stefanie Fee Duke Senior D
Megan Frazer Maryland Junior M
Harriet Tibble Maryland Junior D
Jill Witmer Maryland Sophomore A
Katelyn Falgowski North Carolina Senior M
Kelsey Kolojejchick North Carolina Junior M
Caitlin Van Sickle North Carolina Junior B
Elly Buckley Virginia Sophomore F
Rachel Jennings Virginia Senior M/B