JMU field hockey 12th in preseason poll
JMU, which has been ranked in the NFHCA top 20 for 44 consecutive weeks, finished the 2009 season ranked 12th in the nation after going 12-8 and advancing to the semifinals of the CAA Championship.
Six of 11 starters return from the 2009 squad that advanced to the CAA Championship for the fifth consecutive season. Leading the way for Madison is First Team All-CAA midfielder Dolores de Rooij (Vaardingen, The Netherlands), whose 13 goals last season was fifth best in the CAA. Sophomore forward and All-Rookie selection Tori Lindsey (Audubon, Pa./Methacton) also returns after tying de Rooij with a team-high 13 goals. Senior Amy Daniel (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) and junior Lindsay Cutchins (Suffolk, Va./Lakeland) are both back to lead a JMU defense that limited opponents to 1.60 goals per game last season.
The Dukes will face seven teams ranked in the top 20, including visiting top-ranked North Carolina, the defending national champion (Oct. 17). In addition to UNC, other road contests include No. 7 Michigan State (Sept. 12), No. 15 American (Sept. 19) and No. 16 Old Dominion (Oct. 24). JMU will host No. 10 Duke (Sept. 5), No. 11 Drexel (Oct. 3) and No. 13 Louisville (Sept. 4).
In total, 16 of 19 Madison opponents received at least one vote in the poll. The Dukes are one of three CAA teams to appear in the top 20 and one of eight teams to receive a vote.
The 2010 season opens at the JMU Field Hockey Complex Friday, Aug. 27 against Rutgers at 7 p.m.
Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.