NFHCA Full Release and Rankings
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut field hockey team picks up where it left off in the 2015 season, being ranked No. 3 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Preseason Poll as announced by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association on Tuesday morning.
The Huskies finished last season as No. 3 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Poll after an NCAA semifinal loss to Syracuse. In 2016, UConn returns seven players with senior-standing and welcomes five freshmen – including three from overseas.
North Carolina, the 2015 NCAA runner-up, was voted atop the poll with 915 points and 16 first-place votes. Syracuse, the reigning NCAA champion, finished second with 898 points and 25 first-place votes.
UConn earned 818 points and three first-place votes, while Duke and Virginia rounded-out the top five. Virginia and Maryland each received two first-place votes.
A tough schedule for the Huskies became evident on Tuesday, as seven teams featured in the preseason poll will play UConn this season. Beginning with the season-opener at No. 11 Stanford, the Huskies will play No. 5 Virginia, No. 6 Maryland, No. 8 Boston College, No. 13 Liberty, No. 17 Boston University and No. 20 Old Dominion.
In addition, five more opponents received votes for the poll – Pacific, Massachusetts, Temple, Providence and Drexel.
“Any preseason awards or rankings are somewhat meaningless because they are based on past performance, not future performance,” said head coach Nancy Stevens. “It’s a nice nod of support, but you have to earn everything when the season begins.”
In 2013 and 2014, UConn brought home back-to-back NCAA titles, making it four NCAA championships in program history. The Huskies have reached the Final Four on 13 occasions – eight times with Stevens.
The Huskies travel to play Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. (ET) and Pacific on Sunday at 5 p.m. (ET), opening 2016 with two challenging road games.