All Six ACC Teams ACC Teams Ranked in the STX/NFHCA Top 10
Aug. 24, 2007
Greensboro, N.C. -- All six ACC schools ranked in the top 10 in the 2007 STX/NFHCA Pre-season Poll, released this week. With the top four teams in the poll, as well as the number eight and nine teams, the ACC enters the 2007 season as the strongest conference in the nation.
Topping the ACC, and the poll for the second straight year, are the two-time defending national champion Terrapins. Maryland led by head coach Missy Meharg, received 18 first-place votes in the poll and finished with 673 total points.
In second, third, and fourth-place, respectively, were Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke. In 2006, Wake Forest ranked either one or two in every STX/NFHCA poll and beat the eventual champion Terrapins 1-0 in the ACC final to win its third conference championship. The Tar Heels finished with a record of 13-9 last year and return eight starters in 2007. The Blue Devils, who finished 16-6 last season and advanced to the national semifinals for the fourth year in a row, lose only three starters from last year's team.
Boston College and Virginia rank eighth and ninth in the poll, respectively. After finishing in the top 10 last year, both schools look to take another step forward in 2007.
In all, the ACC returns perhaps its strongest cast of teams and players in its storied field hockey history. Coming off the second straight year in which five conference schools made the NCAA Tournament and the fourth straight year in which three ACC schools advanced to the NCAA semifinals, the six ACC schools appear poised to make a run at the conference's 13th national title and sixth in a row.
All six ACC teams open the 2007 season this weekend. At the Champion's Tournament in East Lansing, Mich., the fourth-ranked Blue Devils open with Ohio and then face either 14th-ranked Louisville or 19th-ranked Michigan State.
Second-ranked Wake Forest and third-ranked North Carolina will take part in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich., each matching up against 12th-ranked Michigan and 10th-ranked Iowa over the weekend. Boston College will start its season on the West coast with games against Stanford and Pacific.
In perhaps the best match-up of the weekend, the No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers will face off against seventh-ranked Penn State in Charlottesville on Sunday. The defending-champion Terps open their season in Evanston, Ill., against Central Michigan and Northwestern.