Lynchburg Collects Eight First Place Votes
FOREST, Va. --- Conference coaches left no question about the favored team in this season's ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll. Reigning champion University of Lynchburg collected eight first place votes on the way to a chart-topping 64 points. Shenandoah University made it 1-2 Hornets with 53 markers to sit second, while Washington and Lee University is close in third at 50 tallies including the remaining first place consideration.
Lynchburg returned to the ODAC field hockey champions podium for the first time since 2014, which marked an ODAC record 19th league crown for 2018 ODAC Coach of the Year Enza Steele's program. Both #1 Lynchburg and #2 Shenandoah received byes thru the quarterfinals in the six-team league tournament. Lynchburg toppled fourth-seeded Roanoke College, 3-1, in one semifinal contest, while Shenandoah used an overtime goals from Maddie Price to advance past #3 Washington and Lee, 1-0.
In the title game, seven combined goals were registered in the first half alone with Lynchburg's offense exploding for a 5-2 halftime advantage. That edge proved more than enough with Lynchburg adding two more tallies on the way to a 7-2 triumph and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Lynchburg's stay on the national stage carried into the second round. The Hornets played host to Denison University (Ohio) in the first round and turned in a 3-1 victory over the Big Red. Then came a bus ride to Rowan University (N.J.) in the second round. Lynchburg held the nationally third-ranked Profs to just one goal -- the only team to do that to them in 2018 -- in seeing its season come to a close via a 1-0 result.
RELATED: ODAC Tournament Results | NCAA Tournament Results
Not quite as many All-ODAC honorees return in 2019 (18) as did in 2018 (23), but 18 returning award winners still means more than half of the full alottment is back for the new campaign. That includes six members of the All-ODAC First Team, four All-ODAC Second Team honors, and eight from the All-ODAC Third Team.
Lynchburg, Randolph-Macon College, and Virginia Wesleyan University lead the charge with three returning honorees each. The Hornets feature a pair of first teamers in defender Alexis Brown and forward Jackie Lerro. They're joined by third team midfielder Emma Strouse. R-MC features second team forward Maria teresa Ambrogi-Torres as well as third team defender Claire Magill and goalkeeper Gatlin Snyder. The Marlins look to second team midfielder Cori Jackson as well as third team forward Julie Fassl and defender Elizabeth Roberto.
Roanoke welcomes back two from the first team in goalkeeper Emma Clark and forward Emilee Wooten. Shenandoah midfielder Taylor Hayes will try for a third straight first team appointment in 2019. Washington and Lee boasts the remaining first team returner in forward Lauren Paolano.
RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Awards
The 2019 season begins with non-conference play on Friday, August 30. The first ODAC match of the season is slated for Friday, October 4. The ODAC regular season closes on Saturday, November 2 and leads into the annual six-team ODAC Tournament. Quarterfinal play at the #3 and #4 seeds is set for Tuesday, November 5. The #1 seed will host the semifinals and championship on Friday-Saturday, November 8-9. 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 2019 ODAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll. Be sure to check out the preseason capsules for each team as well (online version only click HERE for the online release).
For more information on ODAC volleyball, 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.