Washington and Lee Tops Tightly Packed ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll

Washington and Lee Tops Tightly Packed ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll

First Place Votes Split Amongst Four Squads

FOREST, Va. --- Parity is the word that best describes what the conference coaches foresee from the ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll as four teams split first place votes and are separated by just seven points in the annual coaches' survey. Washington and Lee University heads up the chart for the second straight year, collecting three top nods and 43 total points. Lynchburg College sits second with 41 tallies and one first place vote, while defending ODAC champion Shenandoah University is just another two points behind after earning three first place votes. Bridgewater College garnered the remaining top prediction on the way to 36 total markers.

For the second time in as many years, a new champion was crowned in 2016 with Shenandoah's run to capture the league trophy. The fourth-seeded Hornets used a 5-1 triumph over Virginia Wesleyan University (then VWC) in the quarterfinals to setup a date with top-seeded Lynchburg in the semifinals. SU earned a 2-1 overtime victory to join third-seeded W&L in the finals. The Hornets notched one goal in each half to hoist their first piece of ODAC hardware and punch their tickets to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Shenandoah's first round opponent was nationally 15th-ranked University of Rochester, an institution where SU head coach and ODAC Coach of the Year Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft spent five years as an assistant. The Tigers got the best of Hornets on the former's home field, eliminating SU via a 2-0 result.

ODAC fans will not be devoid of familiar faces in 2017 as 21 of the 34 All-ODAC honorees from a season ago are set to return. Bridgewater leads the way with five overall all-league standouts on its roster, while Lynchburg features two of the five returning stars from the 2016 All-ODAC First Team. That list includes defender Hannah Krause and 2015 ODAC Player and Rookie of the Year, forward Nikki Simpao.

Eastern Mennonite University new head coach Ashley Kisner benefits from the return of first team defender Emily Augsburger, while Randolph-Macon College welcomes back goalkeeper Kelsey Stanley. Shenandoah midfielder Elizabeth Pardo caps the list of first team returners. She'll be joined in Winchester by the return of 2016 ODAC Rookie of the Year, Taylor Hayes.

The 2017 season begins with non-conference play on Friday, September 1.  The first ODAC match of the season is slated for Tuesday, September 19. The regular season closes on Saturday, October 28 and leads into the annual six-team ODAC Tournament. Quarterfinal play at the #3 and #4 seeds is set for Tuesday, October 31. The #1 seed will host the semifinals and championship on Friday-Saturday, November 3-4. If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio and statistics links.

Listed below is the 2017 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC field hockey programs.  For more information on ODAC field hockey, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, 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 and Instagram.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Washington and Lee University (3) 43 pts.
2. Lynchburg College (1) 41 pts.
3. Shenandoah University (3) 39 pts.
4. Bridgewater College (1) 36 pts.
5. Roanoke College 26 pts.
6. Virginia Wesleyan University 17 pts.
7. Randolph-Macon College 13 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite University 9 pts.




2017 Poll Position: 4th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 11-7/6-2
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Eliminated in Semifinals (W&L, 2-1)
Head Coach: Allyson Kenyon
Overall Record/Yrs: 130-130 (.500)/14
Record at BC/Yrs: 130-130 (.500)/14
ODAC Record/Yrs: 57-52 (.523)/14
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Ali Bishop (GK), Emily Matisons (BC), Elizabeth Washington (M)
  Third Team: Laura Gretz (D), Georgia Howard (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 31 - Emily Matisons
  Goals: 11 - Emily Matisons
  Assists: 9 - Emily Matisons
  Defensive Saves: 2 - Laura Gretz/Isabel Lopez
  Saves: 89 - Ali Bishop
  2017 Poll Position: 5th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 11-7/4-4
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (W&L, 3-0)
Head Coach: Briana Banks
Overall Record/Yrs: 45-76 (.372)/7
Record at RC/Yrs: 45-76 (.372)/7
ODAC Record/Yrs: 18-36 (.333)/7
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Kaylin Stenson (D)
  Third Team: Rebecca Schmidt (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 25 - Rebecca Schmidt
  Goals: 10 - Rebecca Schmidt
  Assists: 5 - Rebecca Schmidt
  Defensive Saves: 1 - Caroline Peterson/Stacey Staley
  Saves: 63 - Heather Schauder
2017 Poll Position: 8th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-10/2-6
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Ashley Kisner
Overall Record/Yrs: First Season
Record at EMU/Yrs: First Season
ODAC Record/Yrs: First Season
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emily Augsburger (D)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Emily Price (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 34 - Emily Price
  Goals: 15 - Emily Price
  Assists: 4 - Mikayla Martin/Madeline Mast/Emily Price
  Defensive Saves: 1 - Emily Augsburger/Janae Kauffman/Madeline Mast/Rachel Musselman
  Saves: 38 - Kelsey Troyer
  2017 Poll Position: 3rd
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 13-9/5-3
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Champion (W&L, 2-0)
2016 NCAA Tournament: Eliminated by Rochester (2-0) in 1st Round
Head Coach: Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft
Overall Record/Yrs: 46-33(.582)/4
Record at SU/Yrs: 46-33(.582)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 22-9 (.710)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Elizabeth Pardo (M)
  Second Team: Kayla Alderman (F), Taylor Hayes (M-ROY)
  Third Team: Morgan Payne (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 29 - Morgan Payne
  Goals: 12 - Morgan Payne
  Assists: 10 - Taylor Hayes
  Defensive Saves: 6 - Kiera Lane
  Saves: 16 - Jenna Rampale
2017 Poll Position: 2nd
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 11-7/8-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Eliminated in Semifinals (SU, 2-1 OT)
Head Coach: Enza Steele
Overall Record/Yrs: 552-218-11 (.714)/37
Record at LC/Yrs: 552-218-11 (.714)/37
ODAC Record/Yrs: 242-33-2 (.877)/35
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Hannah Krause (D), Nikki Simpao (M)
  Second Team: Lacey Elliott (F)
  Third Team: Kayla Copeman (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 43 - Nikki Simpao
  Goals: 18 - Nikki Simpao
  Assists: 7 - Karissa LeMaire/Nikki Simpao
  Defensive Saves: 3 - Hannah Krause
  Saves: None
  2017 Poll Position: 6th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-11/4-4
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (SU, 5-1)
Head Coach: Christina Restivo
Overall Record/Yrs: 24-46 (.343)/4
Record at VWU/Yrs: 24-46 (.343)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 10-21 (.323)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 8 - Lindsy Smarrelli
  Goals: 4 - Lindsy Smarrelli
  Assists: 1 - Morgan Lee/Hunter Majewski/Ashley Parker/Taylor Wilhelm
  Defensive Saves: 1 - Emma Walsh
  Saves: 118 - Skye Swain
2017 Poll Position: 7th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 3-14/1-7
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Jessica Weiss
Overall Record/Yrs: 3-14 (.176)/1
Record at RMC/Yrs: 3-14 (.176)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 1-7 (.125)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Kelsey Stanley (GK)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 13 - Victoria Cappadora
  Goals: 6 - Victoria Cappadora
  Assists: 2 - Sara Sprinkel
  Defensive Saves: 3 - Riley Greenwood
  Saves: 165 - Kelsey Stanley
  2017 Poll Position: 1st
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 13-7/6-2
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Runner-up (SU, 2-0)
Head Coach: Gina Wills
Overall Record/Yrs: 145-54 (.729)/10
Record at W&L/Yrs: 24-14 (.632)/2
ODAC Record/Yrs: 12-3 (.800)/2
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Maggie Sands (M/F)
  Third Team: Lilly MacDonald (M), Haley Tucker (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 26 - Lauren Paolano/Haley Tucker
  Goals: 12 - Lauren Paolano
  Assists: 6  Haley Tucker
  Defensive Saves: None
  Saves: 86 - Ariyel Yavalar