LANCASTER, Pa. – Defending champion Johns Hopkins has been picked as the preseason favorite in the 2019 Centennial Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll. The Blue Jays collected eight first-place votes and 98 points to land atop the voting among conference head coaches.
Franklin & Marshall, which fell to JHU in a penalty shootout in last year's title game, received the remaining three first-place votes and tallied 93 points to place second in the poll. Ursinus was chosen to finish third with 82 points, followed by Muhlenberg (67) and Dickinson (63) in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Gettysburg (55) was picked sixth, followed by Washington College (43), Haverford (35), Bryn Mawr (31), Swarthmore (28), and McDaniel (10).
The 2019 season begins on Friday, Aug. 30 with 10 of the 11 Centennial teams in action. The Centennial Conference Championship begins with the first round contest on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and Final Four on Nov. 8-9 at the No. 1 seed.
With a 3-1 penalty shootout victory in the Centennial Conference title game, Johns Hopkins captured its first conference crown since 2003 and third overall last fall. JHU and CC runner-up Franklin & Marshall each qualified for the NCAA Tournament, giving the Centennial multiple teams in the national tournament for the eighth time in conference history.
F&M advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Rochester, while Hopkins put together an incredible postseason run that culminated with its first-ever trip to the NCAA semifinals. The Blue Jays upended top-ranked and unbeaten Messiah 3-2 in double overtime in the quarterfinals before dropping a 3-1 decision to eventual national runner-up Tufts in the semifinals. JHU's semifinal appearance was the ninth in conference history, as the Blue Jays became the third Centennial program to reach the Final Four (F&M in 2017, Ursinus 7 times).
A pair of National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Americans are back this season, headlined by F&M senior Erin Coverdale, a two-time All-American and two-time reigning CC Offensive Player of the Year. JHU senior Katie McErlean also earned All-America honors in 2018. A plethora of talent returns to the field this fall, as 19 All-Centennial selections from the 2018 season are back in action this year from nine different Centennial teams.
2019 Centennial Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll
|Rank | Institution (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Johns Hopkins (8)||98|
|2. Franklin & Marshall (3)||93|
|7. Washington College||43|
|9. Bryn Mawr||31|