FOREST, Va. -- The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) announced its 2010 Preseason Field Hockey Poll on Friday afternoon and Washington and Lee was pegged to finish second by the league’s coaches.
The Generals, who finished 10-7 overall (5-2 ODAC) and advanced to the conference semifinals last season, are seeking their second conference crown and first since 2005. Despite losing its top three scorers to graduation, W&L returns a talented roster in 2010, led by senior midfielder Emmy Mathews (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr), junior forward Christina Benedetti (Derwood, Md./Holy Cross), senior midfielder Kate Donnelly (Houston, Texas/St. John’s) and senior defender Kelly Tran (Simsbury, Conn./Ethel Walker).
Mathews returns to the midfield after earning Second Team All-ODAC honors a season ago. She recorded three assists in 2009 and, for her career, has tallied a pair of goals and 11 assists. Benedetti returns as the team’s leading scorer, having registered two goals and a team-high eight assists last year.
Donnelly and Tran were two key cogs on a defense that yielded just 29 goals in 2009, including a stretch of six consecutive shutouts from Oct. 10-Oct. 31. The 29 goals allowed were the fewest in the ODAC and W&L ranked 15th nationally in shutouts.
The Generals open their season on Sept. 10, when they host Catholic at 7:00 pm at the W&L Turf Field.
View the ODAC relase and full poll here.