The Liberty field hockey team is listed as the 20th-ranked team in the country heading into the 2019 season. The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) released its first Division I Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll on Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Flames, who closed the 2018 campaign as the No. 15-ranked team in the country, have now begun the year as a nationally-ranked squad for a fourth straight year. The poll was expanded in 2017 to include 25 teams. This is Liberty’s best preseason ranking since the team opened the year at No. 13 in 2016.
This season, the Lady Flames will square off with six teams who appear in the 2019 preseason rankings, including: defending national champion No. 1 North Carolina (Oct. 20, away), No. 3 Duke (Nov. 3, home), No. 4 Connecticut (Oct. 26, home), No. 6 Harvard (Oct. 6, away), No. 10 Wake Forest (Sept. 22, away) and No. 11 Virginia (Oct. 28, away).
Liberty will open its 2019 campaign this Sunday at home against James Madison. The contest will begin at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field and can be seen on ESPN+.