GILBERT, Ariz. — The National Field Hockey Coaches Association released the Monto/NFHCA Division III Preseason National Coaches Poll on Tuesday, and Washington and Lee is ranked 20th with 175 points. This marks the first national ranking in the history of the program.
Defending national champion, Middlebury, holds the top spot with 1,362 points. Messiah is second with 1,287 points and TCNJ secured third with 1,112 points. The Generals are the only ODAC school represented in the rankings.
The Blue and White finished the 2017 campaign 15-5 overall and claimed the second ODAC title in program history. W&L also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The Generals return 15 letterwinners from last year's squad and add six newcomers.
Senior forward Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va./St. Catherine's School) headlines the returners for W&L. She earned NFHCA Third Team All-America honors last year, and was NFHCA First Team All-South Region, VaSID First Team All-State and the ODAC Player of the Year.
The group of returners also includes junior forward Lauren Paolano (Huntington, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) and senior goalkeeper Ariyel Yavalar (Baltimore, Md./Garrison Forest School). Paolano was a recipient of Second Team All-ODAC accolades a season ago and Yavalar earned a spot on the third team.
W&L opens the 2018 season on Friday at Johns Hopkins at 7:00 pm. The Blue Jays are receiving votes in the Division III rankings with 86 points.
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