ODAC Field Hockey Tabs Lynchburg to Top Poll Position

ODAC Field Hockey Tabs Lynchburg to Top Poll Position

Hornets Followed by Randolph-Macon, Eastern Mennonite in Top Three

FOREST, Va. --- Lynchburg College picked up eight first place votes and 64 total points to lead the 2012 ODAC Field Hockey preseason poll.  Randolph-Macon College collected 56 tallies, including the remaining top spot consideration.  Eastern Mennonite University rounds out the top three with 45 points. (full poll results below).

The 2011 campaign saw Lynchburg win its sixth straight and ODAC-record 15th overall conference field hockey crown via a 7-0 victory over Randolph-Macon in the ODAC Tournament championship game.  The Hornets' postseason continued for two games in the NCAA Division III Tournament.  After a first round bye, LC defeated Catholic University, 2-0, in the second round, but then fell to The College of New Jersey, 3-0, in round three.

Lynchburg (19-2, 8-0) opens the season ranked seventh in the NFHCA preseason coaches' poll.  Reigning ODAC Coach of the Year, Enza Steele, welcomes back four all-conference players, including the 2011 ODAC Player of the Year and ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Shelly Milks.  Milks, a senior midfielder and an All-ODAC First Team pick, finished the season ranked fourth in the conference in points (29) on 10 goals and nine assists.  Senior attacker Lindsay Leonard joined Milks on the first team after leading the league in points (73) and goals (31).  She also dished out 11 assists, the second-best mark in the ODAC.  Junior defender Melanie Tenney (2g) garnered All-ODAC Second Team laurels as a member of the Hornets' defensive unit that registered a 0.57 goals-against-average.  Sophomore attacker Katie Kline was tabbed the ODAC Rookie of the Year and to the All-ODAC Third Team after tallying 31 points on 11 goals and nine assists. 

Randolph-Macon (10-8, 6-2) returns all but one all-conference player from the 2011 campaign.  The Yellow Jackets will be led on offense by junior forward Lauren Seal (10g, 9a), who garnered first team accolades a year ago.  Sophomore forward Carrie Jacobs was named to the All-ODAC Second Team after posting 27 points on 12 goals and three assists.  Senior goalkeeper Nicole Woodworth is also back between the pipes after earning second team honors.  Woodworth notched conference bests in saves (176) and save percentage (.826), while her 2.16 goals against average was the third best mark in the ODAC.   

Eastern Mennonite (10-11, 5-3) welcomes back a solid offense.  Senior midfielder Adriana Santiago (8g, 2a) was tabbed to the first team, while sophomore attacker Janessa Derstine earned second team honors.  Derstine led the Royals with 29 points on 10 goals and nine assists. 

Virginia Wesleyan College (8-9, 5-3) experienced its best season last year since the 2006 campaign when the Marlins were 10-8 overall and 5-3 in the conference.  VWC returns a third teamer in junior attacker Taylor Lober, who notched 18 points on seven goals and four assists.  Sophomore attacker Tanya Puccio is also back up top after recording four goals and two assists.  Junior goalkeeper Kirsten Olson (3.08gaa, 104sv) is back between the pipes to direct the defense. 

Washington and Lee University (6-10, 2-6) enjoys the return of third team junior defender Riley Hampsch, who registered three defensive saves last season.  Sophomore attacker Candice Stefanic returns to spearhead the Generals offense.  Stefanic notched a team-high five goals and dished out one helper. 

Bridgewater College (9-8, 5-3) welcomes back several key players, including senior midfielder Joan Burleson (3g, 1a), who earned All-ODAC Second Team honors.  Also back is senior midfielder Kelly Ryan, who led the Eagles last year in scoring with 22 points on seven goals and eight assists, while junior forward Galen Goodman (8g, 2a) will add more firepower on offense.

Shenandoah University (5-13, 1-7) has one full season under its belt as an ODAC member and the Hornets return both of their all-conference players from 2011.  Senior defender Amber Vanhorn (3g, 1a) returns to spearhead the defense after collecting first team laurels last season.  Also back is third teamer Sarah Deluca, who led SU's offense with 21 points on nine goals and three assists. 

Roanoke College (6-12, 4-4) returns three of its four all-conference players and all three are members of the Maroons' defensive unit.  Senior Laura Stavetski (2a) earned second team honors, while senior Lichele Pace and sophomore Alexa Nuhn (1a) collected third team accolades.  The Maroons recorded 14 defensive saves last year, which was the second-best mark in the conference.  Sophomore attacker Mariel Hunt returns on offense after a solid rookie campaign where she recorded 18 points on six goals and six assists. 

Sweet Briar College (3-12, 0-8) looks to climb the ODAC ladder this season.  Back to aid in that quest for the Vixens is junior attacker Morgan Harris, who totaled five points on two goals and one assist. 

Listed below is the 2012 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 and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes

1. Lynchburg (8) 64 pts.
2. Randolph-Macon (1) 56 pts.
3. Eastern Mennonite 45 pts.
4. Virginia Wesleyan 42 pts.
5. Washington and Lee 34 pts.
6. Bridgewater 30 pts.
7. Shenandoah 24 pts.
8. Roanoke 21 pts.
9. Sweet Briar 8 pts.