North Carolina received 31 points and is the preseason favorite to claim the ACC field hockey championship, according to a vote of the league’s seven coaches released Monday.
The Tar Heels, who reached the national semifinals in 2013, earned two first-place votes, edging Duke and Syracuse for the top spot. The Blue Devils, who advanced to the national championship game last season, collected three first-place votes and 30 points, while the Orange received one top selection and 29 points.
Boston College and Wake Forest tied for fourth with 16 points, followed by Virginia in sixth and Louisville in seventh.
Duke and North Carolina led all league programs with three players each recognized on the All-ACC preseason team.
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The Blue Devils are represented by a trio of juniors: midfielder Aileen Johnson, defender Amanda Kim and goalie Lauren Blazing.
All-American junior Emily Wold leads the Tar Heels selections, along with senior forward Charlotte Craddock and junior Emma Bozek Jr.
Syracuse and Wake Forest had two players selected, and Boston College and Virginia had one player apiece.
USTFCCA men’s rankings: N.C. State was ranked first in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Southeast regional preseason poll ahead of second-place Virginia. North Carolina was fourth with Duke coming in at No. 8.
USTFCCA women’s rankings: No. 3 N.C. State leads area team in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Southeast regional preseason poll. Duke is fifth and North Carolina sixth. Virginia is ranked No. 1 ahead of second-place Virginia Tech.
Track and Field
Duke: Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie announced the schedule for the 2015 indoor and outdoor seasons. The Blue Devils will open the indoor season Jan. 16 at the Carolina Cup in Chapel Hill. The outdoor season also starts in Chapel Hill at the Carolina Relays March 20-21.