NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – After winning its league-best 12th Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship in 2010, Massachusetts has been selected to defend its crown and earn its fourth title in the last five seasons in voting conducted by the league's head coaches. Temple has been picked to finished third behind Richmond.
Returning for the Minutewomen is last year's Most Outstanding Performer of the tournament, Alexa Sikalis, and First Team All-Conference goalie, Alesha Widdall.
Finishing just behind Massachusetts in the poll, Richmond hopes to reclaim the Atlantic 10 title after having won it 6 times between 2002 and 2009.
After holding eventual-champion Massachusetts scoreless for 73 minutes in last year's semi-final game before succumbing to an overtime loss, Temple, and 2010 First Team All-Conference honorees Bridget Settles
and Katie Briglia
, find themselves tabbed third in this year's poll.
"The poll result is good motivation for us," said seventh-year head coach Amanda Janney
. "We like the underdog role. We're all ready for preseason to start next week, and excited for October when A-10 play begins."
Lock Haven, who advanced to the 2010 Championship game in its inaugural season in the Atlantic 10, was slotted to finish fourth followed by La Salle, Saint Joseph's and Saint Louis, respectively.
The four-team A-10 Field Hockey Championship will be held Nov. 4-5 at Saint Joseph's University.