Generals Top ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll

W&L with Six First Place Votes, Lynchburg and Roanoke Split Remaining Three

FOREST, Va. --- A familiar team sits atop the 2018 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll as Washington and Lee University tops the chart produced by the league's head coaches for a third straight season. The Generals collected 62 total points including six first place votes. The University of Lynchburg sits second with 55 tallies and a pair of top nods, while Roanoke College rounds out the upper trio with 51 markers and the remaining first place consideration.

The 2017 ODAC Tournament concluded with an overtime victory for Washington and Lee, the program's second overall conference crown. Both W&L and Lynchburg scored first-half goals before going scoreless in the second frame. Generals' forward Haley Tucker provided the game-winning goal, beating the keeper for a second time in the 73rd minute.

The Generals, playing in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in program history, made their stay count with a 1-0 overtime victory over Denison University in the first round in Lexington. The win marked the first for W&L field hockey in the national bracket. Washington and Lee made a run at a second-round result at Messiah College, taking 1-0 and 2-1 first half leads, but the Falcons scored twice in the second half to secure a 3-2 win.

RELATED: ODAC Tournament Results | NCAA Tournament Results

An abundance of talent returns to conference rosters in 2018 with 23 of the 33 All-ODAC honorees set for another run. Eight of those standouts earned a spot on last year's All-ODAC First Team. Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Shenandoah University each feature two of those athletes. Lynchburg welcomes back three-time first team midfielder Nikki Simpao and 2017 ODAC Rookie of the Year, forward Jackie Lerro. The Maroons defense has a stable backbone behind goalkeeper Emma Clark and defender Kaylin Stenson. SU looks to midfielder Taylor Hayes and defender Morgan Payne to lead the squad just two seasons removed from its first ODAC title in 2016.

The remaining two first team athletes wear Bridgewater College and Washington and Lee jerseys, both making the jump from the 2016 All-ODAC Third Team to a first team position. The Eagles welcome back defender Laura Gretz, while W&L and reigning ODAC Coach of the Year Gina Wills look to the eventual return from injury of last season's ODAC Player of the Year, Haley Tucker.

RELATED: 2017 All-ODAC Awards

The ODAC's field hockey ranks grow by one with the addition of Ferrum College as the conference's 15th full-time member institution. The Panthers are led by fourth-year head coach Carrie Hanshue Austin. Her squad went 5-14 overall last season, including a 1-5 mark in league play with the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). Leading scorer and All-SAA Second Team choice Sierra Magdaleno keys FC's on-field efforts.

The 2018 season begins with non-conference play on Friday, August 31.  The first ODAC match of the season is slated for Wednesday, September 26. The regular season closes on Saturday, October 27 and leads into the annual six-team ODAC Tournament. Quarterfinal play at the #3 and #4 seeds is set for Tuesday, October 30. The #1 seed will host the semifinals and championship on Friday-Saturday, November 2-3. 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 2018 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC field hockey programs and a preseason interview with W&L head coach Gina Wills.  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  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 (6) 62 pts.
2. University of Lynchburg (2) 55 pts.
3. Roanoke College (1) 51 pts.
4. Shenandoah University 45 pts.
5. Randolph-Macon College 33 pts.
6. Bridgewater College 32 pts.
7. Virginia Wesleyan University 23 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite University 14 pts.
9. Ferrum College 9 pts.


2018 Poll Position: 6th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-11/4-3
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4 Seed/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (SU, 3-0)
Head Coach: Allyson Kenyon
Overall Record/Yrs: 137-141 (.493)/15
Record at BC/Yrs: 137-141 (.493)/15
ODAC Record/Yrs: 61-55 (.526)/15
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Laura Gretz (D)
  Second Team: Georgia Howard (M), Tessa Tierson (M)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 25 | Tessa Tierson
  Goals: 11 | Tessa Tierson
  Assists: 3 | Jacqueline DiFulvio/Georgia Howard/Tessa Tierson
  Defensive Saves: 3 | Karinne Moyer
  Saves: 79 | Ali Bishop
    2018 Poll Position: 8th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 5-12/0-7
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Ashley Kishorn
Overall Record/Yrs: 5-12 (.294)/1
Record at EMU/Yrs: 5-12 (.294)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 0-7 (.000)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 19 | Lauren Hartzler
  Goals: 7 | Lauren Hartzler
  Assists: 5 | Lauren Hartzler
  Defensive Saves: 4 | Clover Cooper
  Saves: 173 | Kelsey Troyer
2018 Poll Position: 9th
2017 Records - Overall/SAA: 5-14/1-5
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Semifinals (Centre, 5-1)
Head Coach: Carrie Hanshue Austin
Overall Record/Yrs: 13-59 (.181)/4
Record at FC/Yrs: 13-59 (.181)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: First Season
Returning All-SAA Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Sierra Magdaleno (F/M)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 24 | Sierra Magdaleno
  Goals: 7 | Sierra Magdaleno
  Assists: 10 | Sierra Magdaleno
  Defensive Saves: None
  Saves: 39 | Mia Holmes
    2018 Poll Position: 2nd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 16-4/6-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Runner-up (W&L, 2-1 OT)
Head Coach: Enza Steele
Overall Record/Yrs: 568-222-11 (.716)/38
Record at LYN/Yrs: 568-222-11 (.716)/38
ODAC Record/Yrs: 248-34-2 (.877)/36
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Jackie Lerro (F-ROY), Nikki Simpao (M)
  Second Team: Kayla Copeman (F)
  Third Team: Alexis Brown (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 70 | Nikki Simpao
  Goals: 28 | Jackie Lerro
  Assists: 16 | Nikki Simpao
  Defensive Saves: 1 | Alexis Brown
  Saves: 52 | Laurel Nicks
2018 Poll Position: 5th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 6-13/2-5
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (RC, 7-0)
Head Coach: Jessica Weiss
Overall Record/Yrs: 9-27 (.250)/2
Record at RMC/Yrs: 9-27 (.250)/2
ODAC Record/Yrs: 3-12 (.200)/2
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Georgia Drescher (D/M)
  Third Team: Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres (F/M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 19 | Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres
  Goals: 7 | Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres
  Assists: 5 | Maria Teresa Ambrogi-Torres
  Defensive Saves: 2 | Megan May
  Saves: 24 | Katie Thompson
    2018 Poll Position: 3rd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 14-5/5-2
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Eliminated in Semifinals (LYN, 7-1)
Head Coach: Briana Banks
Overall Record/Yrs: 59-81 (.421)/8
Record at RC/Yrs: 59-81 (.421)/8
ODAC Record/Yrs: 23-38 (.377)/8
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emma Clark (GK), Kaylin Stenson (D)
  Second Team: Stacey Staley (D), Emilee Wooten (F)
  Third Team: Lauren Heffron (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 38 | Emilee Wooten
  Goals: 16 | Emilee Wooten
  Assists: 8 | Leonore Keunen
  Defensive Saves: 3 | Stacey Staley
  Saves: 81 | Emma Clark
2018 Poll Position: 4th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-9/3-4
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Eliminated in Semifinals (W&L, 3-1)
Head Coach: Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft
Overall Record/Yrs: 56-42 (.571)/5
Record at SU/Yrs: 56-42 (.571)/5
ODAC Record/Yrs: 25-13 (.658)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Taylor Hayes (M), Morgan Payne (D)
  Second Team: Kayla Alderman (F)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 16 | Megan Stevens
  Goals: 7 | Megan Stevens
  Assists: 5 | Taylor Hayes
  Defensive Saves: 5 | Kiera Lane
  Saves: 75 | Isabella Morande
    2018 Poll Position: 7th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-10/1-6
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Christina Restivo
Overall Record/Yrs: 31-56 (.356)/5
Record at VWU/Yrs: 31-56 (.356)/5
ODAC Record/Yrs: 11-27 (.289)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Elizabeth Roberto (D), Skye Swain (GK)
  Third Team: Cori Jackson (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 26 | Elizabeth Roberto
  Goals: 12 | Elizabeth Roberto
  Assists: 6 | Julie Fassl/Hunter Majewski
  Defensive Saves: 4 | Emma Walsh
  Saves: 119 | Skye Swain
2018 Poll Position: 1st
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-5/7-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Champion (LYN, 2-1 OT)
2017 NCAA Tournament: 1-1/def. Denison (1-0 2OT) in 1st round, lost to Messiah (3-2) in 2nd round
Head Coach: Gina Wills
Overall Record/Yrs: 160-59 (.731)/11
Record at W&L/Yrs: 39-19 (.672)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 19-3 (.864)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Haley Tucker (F-POY)
  Second Team: Lauren Paolano (F)
  Third Team: Ariyel Yavalar (GK)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 45 | Haley Tucker
  Goals: 20 | Haley Tucker
  Assists: 5 | Haley Tucker
  Defensive Saves: 2 | Olivia Hewitt
  Saves: 106 | Ariyel Yavalar