Field Hockey Ranked #7 in Preseason NFHCA Poll
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; August 21, 2006 - The defending Big Ten champion Penn State field hockey team has been ranked #7 in the country in the STX/National Field Hockey Coaches' Association (NFHCA) preseason Top 20 poll that was released this morning. The Nittany Lions are the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the preseason poll, which features six of the seven Big Ten teams ranked in the top 20.
The Nittany Lions, who were ranked eighth in the final poll of the 2005 season that saw them finish with a 17-4 record, came in just ahead of conference opponent #8 Michigan and just behind #6 American, who defeated the Lions in the NCAA Tournament last year. Other Big Ten teams ranked include #10 Indiana, #12 Iowa, #15 Ohio State, and #16 Michigan State. In addition to the Big Ten opponents, a total of four other Penn State opponents this year are ranked in the preseason poll, #4 Old Dominion, #5 North Carolina, #9 Connecticut, and #13 Northeastern, giving Penn State a total of nine ranked opponents this year according to the preseason poll. Additionally, five other opponents received votes.
Penn State returns 13 letterwinners from last season's conference championship team, including their two top goal scorers in Shaun Banta and Annelise Legel as well as a first team All-Big Ten selection in Kiersten Wood. The Nittany Lions will open the season on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. when they face #4 Old Dominion on AstroTurf Field.
2006 STX/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll
1. University of Maryland 879 (35) 2. Wake Forest University 819 (5) 3. Duke University 793 (2) 4. Old Dominion University 756 (2) 5. University of North Carolina 683 (1) 6. American University 615 7. Penn State University 605 8. University of Michigan 537 9. University of Connecticut 469 10. Indiana University 390 11. Boston College 368 12. University of Iowa 352 13. Northeastern University 312 14. University of Louisville 299 15. Ohio State University 292 16. Michigan State University 227 17. Boston University 195 18. James Madison University 154 19. University of Richmond 141 Tie University of Virginia 141
Also Receiving Votes: Princeton University (139), Villanova University (66), University of California, Berkeley (60), College of William & Mary (44), Hofstra University (23), Harvard University (20), University of Delaware (19), Miami University (OH) (13), Drexel University (8), University of Massachusetts (6), Providence College (5), University at Albany (4), Ohio University (4), Syracuse University (3), Lock Haven University (2), University of New Hampshire (2), Northwestern University (2), University of the Pacific (2), Towson University (1).