ACC Field Hockey Takes Six Spots in 2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Preseason Poll

Aug. 24, 2010

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Defending National Champion North Carolina was joined by fellow conference members Maryland and Virginia in taking the top three spots in the 2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll, announced today by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

Wake Forest (No. 6), Boston College (No. 9) and Duke (No. 10), rounded out the rankings, giving the conference six teams in the Top 10.

The ACC led all conferences with six teams earning a ranking. The Big Ten was next with five teams, while the Colonial Athletic Association and Big East Conference each had three.

The Tar Heels received 25 first-place votes and are coming off a 2009 campaign in which they went 20-2 overall, including a 4-1 league mark. Head coach Karen Shelton returns seven starters and 15 letterwinners.

UNC edged Maryland 3-2 in the 2009 NCAA National Championship game to earn the program's sixth national title and hand the Terrapins their first loss of the season.

Maryland garnered 22 first-place votes to earn the No. 2 spot in the preseason poll. The Terrapins finished 2009 at 23-1, posting a perfect 5-0 record in conference action and clinching their eighth league tournament title. Head coach Missy Meharg welcomes back four starters and 13 letterwinners.

Ranked at No. 3, Virginia earned two first-place votes. The Cavaliers went 20-4 overall and 3-2 in league play in 2009. Nine starters and 14 letterwinners return for head coach Michele Madison, who led her squad to the 2009 NCAA tournament semifinals before falling to eventual champion North Carolina.

Wake Forest returns seven starters and 11 letterwinners from a squad that went 13-7 overall and 2-3 in conference action in 2009. Jennifer Averill and the Demon Deacons reached the second round of the 2009 NCAA tournament.

Last season marked the second consecutive year and eighth time overall that two ACC teams faced off in the NCAA tournament championship game. It also marked the eighth-straight time that a league team has clinched the national championship. ACC teams have accounted for 15 titles since 1983, when field hockey was first sponsored by the league.

2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division 1 Preseason Poll

 Institution  Points (first place votes in parentheses)
 1. University of North Carolina  1072 (25)
 2. University of Maryland  1053 (22)
 3. University of Virginia  969 (2)
 4. Princeton University  943 (7)
 5. University of Connecticut  769
 6. Wake Forest University  750
 7. Michigan State University  744
 8. Syracuse University  712
 9. Boston College  456
 10. Duke University  443
 11. Drexel University  439
 12. James Madison University  396
 13. University of Louisville  308
 14. Ohio State University  286
 15. American University  247
 16. Old Dominion University  234
 17. Indiana University  227
 18. Penn State University  211
 19. University of Iowa  181
 Stanford University  166














Also Receiving Votes: University of Delaware (149), Northwestern University (148), Boston University (131), University of Michigan (123), University of Massachusetts (122), University at Albany (118), University of Richmond (51), University of California (50), Ohio University (47), Providence College (43), Northeastern University (35), Missouri State University (23), University of New Hampshire (21), University of Maine (19), Dartmouth College (13), Kent State University (11), Miami University (OH) (9), University of Pennsylvania (8), Villanova University (8), Lafayette College (5), Lock Haven University (5), Hofstra University (4), University of the Pacific (4), Rutgers University (4), Rider University (1), Virginia Commonwealth University (1), College of William & Mary (1).