Hornets Top Field Hockey Preseason Poll

Hornets Top Field Hockey Preseason Poll

LC Picked to Win Fifth Straight ODAC Title

 FOREST, Va. --- Lynchburg College received six first place votes towards 61 total points to top the 2010 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll, making the Hornets the favorite to win their fifth straight ODAC title.  Washington and Lee University grabbed the remaining two first place votes and 54 points, and is followed closely by Eastern Mennonite University, which earned 53 poll points.

The Hornets featured in a pair of games in the 2009 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament.  Awarded a home game in the first round, LC opened with a 5-3 triumph over Juniata College in its opening contest.  Lynchburg traveled to Ursinus College for a second round showdown in Collegeville, Pa.  The Bears got the best of the Hornets, posting a 4-0 victory.

Although without NCAA Division III all-time points (297) and goals scored (133) leader Allie Weir, Lynchburg (18-5 overall, 7-0 ODAC) welcomes back plenty of talent to make a run at its 14th ODAC field hockey crown.  The nation’s fourth-ranked scoring offense (4.39 goals/g, 11.87 pts/g, 3.09 asst/g) returns five double figure scorers including conference assists leader and All-ODAC First Team midfielder Jenny Weir (12 goals, 14 assists).  She is joined by the ODAC’s second leading scorer and point-getter, Jordan Warrington (55pts, 23g), and second team attack Shelly Milks (4g, 6a).  Also back in the fold is attack Lindsay Leonard (10g) and midfielder Kristina Morris (3g, 5a).

Washington and Lee (10-7, 5-2) enters the 2010 campaign looking to win its first title since 2005.  A successful run will come with new players carrying the scoring load as the Generals graduated each of their top three scorers from a squad that scored 49 goals, third-best in the conference.  Attackers Christina Benedetti (2g, 8a) and Katharine Price (5g, 1a) are the top returners on offense with second team selection Emmy Mathews (3a) leading from the midfield.  The defense, which allowed a league-low 29 goals, features holdover Kelly Tran (1g), but will be looking for a new keeper with sophomore Kirsten Kyne (30 saves in 8 games) as the lead returning candidate.

In each of the past four seasons, Eastern Mennonite (10-8, 6-1) has been one win away from winning its 12th overall ODAC championship.  The Royals will take another shot at the prize in 2010, looking to raise the hardware for the first time since 2003.  Back to aid in that effort are four double-digit scorers including seniors Linda (7g) and Katie Cimini (4g, 4a) and sophomores Adriana Santiago (5g, 5a) and Jessica Blanks (5g).  The defense features defender Vanessa Landis and goalkeeper Becky Nolt (1.70 GAA, 108 saves).

Randolph-Macon (11-10, 4-3) has reached the ODAC semifinals in two of the past three seasons and looks to take that next step into its first conference title game since 1998.  The Yellow Jackets welcome back three of their top four scorers from 2009, including top point-getter and second team selection Mary McCarthy (12g, 7a).  The senior midfielder is joined by attack Kendall Lam (10g, 3a) and midfielders Monica Jenkins (9g, 5a) and Meredith Young (5g, 1a).  The defense features sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Woodworth (1.19 GAA, 85 saves).

Virginia Wesleyan (4-13, 2-5) and Bridgewater (9-9, 2-5) both boast all-conference talent returning to the field in 2010.  The Marlins have a pair of second teamers leading the defense including senior goalkeeper Chelsey Baker (143 saves, 11.92 sv/g - #1 in ODAC) and reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year, Taylor Harding (ODAC-best 20 def. saves).  The offense welcomes back top scorer Courtney Eisert (8g) and Ashton Perry (3g, 1a).  A bevy of attacking talent dots the Bridgewater roster led by a trio of double figure scorers including Brianna Jacques (9g, 6a), Leah Cossentino (6g, 1a) and first team midfielder Kalah Hess (4g, 5a).  Second team midfielder Joan Burleson (2g, 1a) is also back for her second year with the Eagles.

New head coach Briana Banks takes over the reins of the Roanoke (2-14, 2-5) field hockey program.  Back for the Maroons is first team goalkeeper Christina Scichilone (134 saves – 3rd in ODAC) and second team defender Lee Sheldon.  Top scorers Jessica Jenkins (5g) and Helen Pearsall (4g, 2a) are also back.

Sweet Briar’s (2-14, 0-7) returning talent begins with second team goalkeeper Madeline Wilson, who led the ODAC with 166 saves.  She’s joined on offense by the Vixen’s top two scorers from 2009, Lindsay Eneguess (7g, 1a) and Alexandra St. Pierre (2g, 2a).

Listed below is the 2010 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll.  For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites, or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don’t forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook by clicking HERE.  You can also follow the ODAC on Twitter by clicking HERE

(#) Denotes First Place Votes

1. Lynchburg (6) 61 pts.
2. Washington and Lee (2) 54 pts.
3. Eastern Mennonite 53 pts.
4. Randolph-Macon 36 pts.
5. Virginia Wesleyan 30 pts.
6. Bridgewater 26 pts.
7. Roanoke 20 pts.
8. Sweet Briar 8 pts.