North Carolina Predicted To Claim 2010 ACC Field Hockey Title
Aug. 18, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Defending National Champion North Carolina received four first place votes and was selected by the league's head coaches to win the 2010 ACC Field Hockey Championship, as announced today by Commissioner John Swofford.
The Tar Heels collected 24 of the 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 2009 ACC Champion and national runner-up, came in second, picking up 21 points and one first place vote. Virginia took third place with 18 points, followed by Wake Forest (12) in fourth, Boston College (9) in fifth and Duke (6) in sixth. The Cavaliers received the final first place vote.
All six teams were represented on the preseason All-ACC squad, with North Carolina tallying a league-leading three honorees. Duke, Maryland and Virginia each had two representatives, while Boston College and Wake Forest each had one.
Eight of the 11 preseason All-ACC selections earned All-America honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association in 2009, including: Emily Kozniuk of Boston College; Rhian Jones of Duke; Katie O'Donnell of Maryland; Katelyn Falgowski, Jackie Kintzer and Kelsey Kolojejchick of North Carolina; and Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese of Virginia.
O'Donnell, Falgowski, Kintzer, Kolojejchick, Selenski and Vittese were also named to the All-ACC team in 2009.
North Carolina comes off a 2009 campaign in which it went 20-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Tar Heels defeated Maryland 3-2 in the NCAA Championship game, earning the program's sixth national title. Karen Shelton, the reigning NFHCA Coach of the Year, returns seven starters and 15 letterwinners, including Kolojejchick, who was named National Rookie of the Year by womensfieldhockey.com. UNC seeks its 17th conference championship and its first since 2007.
Maryland welcomes back four starters and 13 letterwinners to a squad that finished 2009 23-1, with an unblemished 5-0 mark in league play. Head coach Missy Meharg enters her 23rd season at the helm. The Terrapins won their eighth ACC crown in 2009, defeating Virginia 3-2 in overtime in the title game. O'Donnell, the 2009 recipient of the Honda Award and womensfieldhockey.com's National Player of the Year, is joined by teammate Megan Frazer on the preseason All-ACC team.
Virginia finished 2009 with a 20-4 overall record and was 3-2 in conference action. Fifth year head coach Michele Madison returns nine starters and 14 letterwinners to a squad that reached the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA tournament before falling to eventual champion North Carolina.
Last season saw five of the six league teams earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest advanced to the second round, with the Terrapins, Tar Heels and Cavaliers competing in the semifinals. The championship game matchup between Maryland and North Carolina marked the second consecutive year and eighth time overall that two ACC teams faced off in the final. The league had all six teams finish the season ranked in the top 17 of the final Kookaburra/NFHCA poll.
The 2010 season gets under way Friday, August 27, with Boston College and Maryland in action. The remaining four teams open their season that weekend. The 2010 ACC Field Hockey Championship will be held November 4, 5 and 7 on the campus of Wake Forest University.
2010 Predicted Order of Finish (as selected by the league's coaches)
2010 Preseason All-ACC Team (as selected by the league's coaches)