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Duke field hockey ranked No. 3 in preseason poll

Posted Friday, August 25, 2006

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Durham, N.C. - The Duke Field Hockey team will begin the regular season ranked No. 3, as was announced by the STX/NFHCA Preseason Poll which was released Monday, Aug. 21.

The 2005 NCAA Field Hockey Champion Maryland Terps claimed this season’s No. 1 preseason spot, with fellow Atlantic Coast Conference foe Wake Forest grabbing the No. 2 spot. Duke received two first-place votes, eventually landing a No. 3 ranking, as Old Dominion and North Carolina round out the top five. Duke will face four top-five schools in 2006.

All six ACC field hockey schools will begin their seasons ranked in the top-20, as Boston College and Virginia are ranked 11th and tied for 19th, respectively.

Duke, who finished last season ranked No. 4 following a loss to Maryland in the championship game, will again face one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2006, as half of the Blue Devils’ regular-season opponents are current top-20 teams. The Blue Devils will face 10 preseason top-20 teams, including a season-opening matchup vs. No. 14 Louisville this Saturday, Aug. 26 as part of the Champion’s Tournament, which Duke is hosting for the first time in tournament rotation.

Joining Louisville and Duke in the tournament, will be Delaware and No. 16 Michigan State, who will play each other Saturday at 11:30 a.m. before the Blue Devils square off vs. the Cardinals at 2 p.m. at Williams Field.

Duke’s second weekend of action (Sept. 2-3) will see the Blue Devils face Kent State and No. 12 Iowa, both in Iowa City. Duke will then face No. 2 Wake Forest on the road on Sept. 9, a re-match of last year’s NCAA semifinal game.

The Blue Devils will head into this weekend’s tournament with two exhibition games under their belts, as Duke tied Wake Forest in Winston-Salem last Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2-2, and then defeated William and Mary Sunday, Aug. 20, 7-2, in Virginia Beach.

The first STX/NFHCA regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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