CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –  The Virginia field hockey team has been predicted to finish second this season in a vote of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s seven field hockey coaches, as announced today (Sept. 9) by the conference.

Additionally, three players, senior back Rachel Robinson (Mount Joy, Pa.), junior back Amber Ezechiels (Niew-Vennep, Netherlands) and junior goalkeeper Lauren Hausheer (West Windsor, N.J.), have been named to the preseason All-ACC team.

Defending national champion North Carolina have been selected to repeat as ACC champions. Virginia, which joined UNC in the final four of last year’s NCAA Field Hockey Championship, placed second in the preseason voting with 37 total points. Boston College, also a final four participant in 2019, placed third with 30 points.

Duke (26 points), Louisville (25), Syracuse (23) and Wake Forest (7) rounded out the balloting. Syracuse received one first-place vote.

Virginia led all schools with three players selected to the Preseason All-ACC Team. Boston College, UNC and Syracuse each placed two players on the squad.

Robinson, a first team All-American and an All-ACC first team honoree, started all 23 games for the Cavaliers last year as a defensive midfielder. She ended the season with five goals and four assists for 14 points. The 2019 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the year has twice been named to the Longstreth/NFHCA All-South Region Second Team, and was named to the roster of the 2020 U.S. Women’s National Team back in January.

Ezechiels a second-team All-American and second team All-ACC honoree last season, scored her first goal of the season in overtime of the 3-2 regular-season victory over Duke, netting the game-winner. She has been a key component in Virginia’s defensive unit that logged seven shutouts last season.

Hausheer, a member of the 2019 All-ACC Academic Team and the VaSID All-State first team, posted an 18-5 record last season with seven shut-outs. Her 1.00 goals-against average was tops in the conference and ranked third in the nation. She also had a .744 save percentage which ranked second in the ACC.

The ACC field hockey fall season opens Friday, Sept. 18 and concludes Sunday, Nov. 1. Each of the ACC’s seven teams will play a six-game conference schedule (single round-robin), in addition to several more games against fellow ACC opponents that have been designated as non-conference. Duke is scheduled to play host to the ACC Championship Nov. 5, 6 and 8.

2020 ACC Field Hockey Predicted Order of Finish
1. North Carolina (6) – 48
2. Virginia – 37
3. Boston College – 30
4. Duke – 26
5. Louisville -25
6. Syracuse (1) – 23
7. Wake Forest – 7
(First-place votes)

2020 Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team
Margo Carlin, F, So., Boston College

Fusine Govaert, M, Sr., Boston College

Lexi Davidson, B, Sr., Duke

Mercedes Pastor, M, Sr., Louisville

Erin Matson, F, Jr., North Carolina

Eva Smolenaars, M, Sr., North Carolina

Charlotte de Vries, F, So., Syracuse

Laura Graziosi, M, Jr., Syracuse

Rachel Robinson, B, Sr., Virginia

Amber Ezechiels, B, Jr., Virginia

Lauren Hausheer, GK, Jr., Virginia