Messiah Takes Top Spot in Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll

Messiah Takes Top Spot in Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Defending national champion Messiah was the overwhelming pick as the No. 1-ranked squad in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Preseason Coaches Poll announced on Tuesday.

The Falcons captured 1,002 points and 45 first-place votes to claim the No. 1 ranking in the preseason poll. Last year’s national runner-up, Tufts, came in at No. 2 in the poll with 924 points and four first-place votes. Messiah defeated Tufts in penalty strokes in the 2016 Division III National Championship after the teams had played to a scoreless tie. The rest of the top five included No. 3 Salisbury, No. 4 Middlebury and No. 5 Babson.

The College of New Jersey took the No. 6 place in the poll, followed by No. 7 Ursinus, No. 8 Bowdoin, No. 9 Franklin & Marshall and No. 10 Trinity (Conn.).

The rest of the ranking included No. 11 Skidmore, No. 12 Montclair State, No. 13 Amherst, No. 14 University of Rochester, No. 15 Hamilton, No. 16 Muhlenberg, No. 17 University of New England, No. 18 Alvernia, No. 19 Williams and No. 20 William Smith.

The regular season opens up on Friday, with the action featuring Messiah hosting York in its first game as defending champion. No. 5 Babson plays at No. 11 Skidmore in a matchup of ranked squads on Saturday.

The next Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll will be announced on Tuesday, September 12. The poll is voted on by NFHCA member coaches, and has no bearing on selection to the 2017 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

Penn Monto/NFHCA Division III Coaches Poll – August 29
Institution - Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Messiah - 1,002 (45)
2. Tufts - 924 (4)
3. Salisbury - 816
4. Middlebury - 792 (1)
5. Babson - 700 (1)
6. The College of New Jersey - 673
7. Ursinus - 666
8. Bowdoin - 608 (1)
9. Franklin & Marshall - 576
10. Trinity (Conn.) - 499
11. Skidmore - 476
12. Montclair State - 416
13. Amherst - 338
14. University of Rochester - 315
15. Hamilton - 251
16. Muhlenberg - 180
17. University of New England - 172
18. Alvernia - 143
19. Williams - 135
20. William Smith - 131
Others Receiving Votes (Next Five): Rowan (100), Kean (88), Mary Washington (76), Catholic (68), Christopher Newport (66)