The 2017 Liberty field hockey squad begins the year ranked No. 25 in the Division I Penn Monto/NFHCA preseason national poll.
Preseason NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll
The Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team will open the 2017 season as the 25th-ranked team in the nation, as announced by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) today in its Division I Penn Monto/NFHCA preseason national poll.
Liberty shares the final spot in the rankings with Pacific, last year's runner-up in the America East Conference.
The Lady Flames will face nine ranked foes in 2017, beginning with their season opener against No. 19 James Madison, Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Field Hockey Field. Liberty will then travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. for a Sept. 1 match at No. 11 Michigan.
The Lady Flames' challenging slate features games against five of the top six teams in the preseason poll. Liberty will host the defending national champion, No. 3 Delaware, on Sept. 10 in Lynchburg. Later in the season, the Lady Flames will welcome No. 1 North Carolina (Oct. 29) and No. 2 Duke (Oct. 22) to the Hill City. No. 4 UConn will also make the journey to Liberty for a BIG EAST contest on Oct. 14.
Liberty's other games versus preseason ranked opponents include: at No. 6 Maryland (Oct. 8), at No. 15 Wake Forest (Oct. 1) and vs. No. 23 Old Dominion (Sept. 29).
In its first year in the BIG EAST in 2016, Liberty finished as the runner-up in both the regular-season standings and at the 2016 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship. The team closed out the 2016 campaign in the No. 25 slot in the final NCAA Field Hockey RPI.
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