CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –  The Virginia field hockey team has been predicted to finish third this season in a vote of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s seven field hockey coaches, as announced today (Aug. 23) by the conference.

Additionally, senior back Amber Ezechiels (Niew-Vennep, Netherlands) has been named to the preseason All-ACC team.

Three-time defending national champion North Carolina is favored to claim its fifth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title. UNC received six first-place votes and placed atop this year’s ACC preseason poll with 48 total points. Boston College (30 points) was picked for a second-place finish, while Virginia picked up the remaining first-place vote to hold the No. 3 spot with 25 points. Wake Forest (24 points) finished fourth in the voting, while Duke, Louisville and Syracuse tied for fifth place with 23 total points.

The forecast for a tight ACC race follows a 2020-21 season in which all seven ACC teams finished among the top 20 of the NFHCA national rankings.  The ACC leads all conferences with 21 NCAA field hockey titles and has placed at least one team in the national championship game 29 of the past 32 seasons.

Ezechiels, a second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honoree last season, anchored a defensive unit that logged three shutouts last season. She was a key element of Virginia’s attack on penalty corners, scoring three goals with nine assists to rank third on the team in points. Her nine assists led the conference. Both were named to the All-ACC first team.

Virginia opens its season this Friday (Aug. 27) hosting Penn State at 5 p.m. at Turf Field. The first conference games are set for Friday, Sept. 17. Syracuse is slated to host this year’s ACC Championship on Nov. 4-5 and 7 at J.S. Coyne Stadium.

2021 ACC Field Hockey Predicted Order of Finish
1. North Carolina (6) – 48
2. Boston College – 30
3. Virginia (1) – 25
4. Wake Forest  – 24
t-5. Duke – 23
t-5. Louisville – 23
t-5. Syracuse – 23
(First-place votes)

2021 Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team

  • Margo Carlin, F, Jr., Boston College
  • Fusine Govaert, M, Gr., Boston College
  • Jonna Kennedy, GK, Sr., Boston College
  • Leah Crouse, M, Sr., Duke
  • Alli Bitting, M, Sr., Louisville
  • Charlie Van Oirschot, M, So., Louisville
  • Erin Matson, F, Sr., North Carolina
  • Meredith Sholder, M, Sr., North Carolina
  • Charlotte DeVries, F, Jr., Syracuse
  • Amber Ezechiels, B, Sr., Virginia
  • Meike Lanckohr, M, Jr., Wake Forest