CHANDLER, Ariz. - After winning its final 22 games on the way to last year's national title, Messiah has picked up where it left off by claiming its first three contests in 2017 and maintaining its hold on the No. 1 spot in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll.
The Falcons have opened up with a pair of wins on the road against top-10 opponents as part of their 3-0 start. Messiah holds the No. 1 spot by a wide margin as it garnered 996 points and 45 first-place votes to claim the ranking. The next two spots in the poll were unchanged with Tufts at No. 2 and Salisbury at No. 3, while The College of New Jersey came in at No. 4 and Middlebury rounded out the top five.
Babson took the No. 6 ranking, with No. 7 Amherst, No. 8 Montclair State, No. 9 Skidmore and No. 10 Bowdoin rounding out the top 10. The bottom half of the poll consisted of No. 11 Ursinus, No. 12 Trinity, No. 13 Williams, No. 14 Franklin & Marshall, No. 15 Hamilton, No. 16 Rochester, No. 17 Mary Washington, No. 18 Christopher Newport and William Smith (tie), and No. 20 Kean. Mary Washington, Christopher Newport and Kean all entered the ranking this week.
The top squads will be tested this week with nine matchups pitting teams in the top-15 of the ranking. Those contests start on Tuesday when No. 2 Tufts hosts No. 6 Babson and No. 9 Skidmore welcomes No. 15 Hamilton. Saturday's slate features No. 1 Messiah at No. 4 The College of New Jersey, No. 5 Middlebury at No. 7 Amherst, No. 9 Skidmore at No. 8 Montclair State and No. 15 Hamilton going to No. 12 Trinity. The Sunday action includes No. 2 Tufts hosting No. 12 Trinity, No. 5 Middlebury welcoming No. 15 Hamilton and No. 10 Bowdoin taking on No. 13 Williams, as well as No. 11 Ursinus facing a West Chester squad which ranks No. 4 at the Division II level.
For the full listing of top-20 teams, others receiving votes and point totals, view the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll - Sept. 12
The next Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll will be announced on Tuesday, September 19.