JMU roundup: Dukes picked fourth in women’s field hockey poll
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RICHMOND — James Madison University’s women’s field hockey was selected to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association this season in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.
The Dukes received 22 points in the 2014 Preseason CAA Field Hockey Coaches Poll, placing them fourth amongst seven teams. Delaware was projected to win the league with four first-place votes and 32 overall points. The Blue Hens won both the CAA regular-season and tournament titles in 2013.
Drexel was picked to finish second in the conference with two first-place votes and 29 overall points. Northeastern tallied the final first-place vote and finished with 28 total points.
JMU finished 10-8 overall in 2013 and 3-3 in league play in 2013. James Madison returns six starters, including redshirt-junior midfielder Taylor West, junior midfielder Adrienne le Vatte and junior back Loes Stijntjes.
West led the Dukes with 14 goals and 33 points, adding five assists as she earned All-CAA First Team, National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-South Region Second Team and Virginia Sports Information Directors All-State Second Team honors.
Stijntjes earned All-CAA Second Team honors last season, and le Vatte scored seven goals in 2013, the second highest total on the team, and tied for the second-most points with 16.
Head coach Christy Morgan returns for her first season back at the helm of the JMU program in 2014. She coached the Dukes from 1991-2000, leading them to a national championship in 1994 and a CAA championship in 1995.
The Dukes are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first national championship (1994) and the 40th anniversary of the field hockey program in 2014. JMU opens the season at Kent State on August 30 at 1 p.m. before returning home to face Longwood on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.