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Fredericksburg, Va. –The St. Mary’s College of Maryland field hockey team was selected fifth in the 2018 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Preseason Coaches Poll, released Monday afternoon.

WATCH: CAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll Video·READ: CAC Field Hockey Preseason Poll Release

Last fall, the Seahawks won eight games, the most wins since a 10-win campaign in 2014. Third-year head coachJessica Lanhamwelcomes 13 newcomers to the fold this season asSt. Mary’s looks to build upon the successes from a year ago.

St. Mary’s will look to come out of the gates strong with the return of its top-two scorers inseniorsCourtney Mellon(Mount Airy, Md./Urbana)andMollie Belson(Columbia, Md./Atholton).Mellonled the squad with seven goals and 16 points whileBelsoncontributed a team-leading five assists and second-best 13 points.

The trio of seniorsKara Feidelseit(Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) andBrooke Steinhoff(Urbana, Md./Urbana), andsophomoreMeghan Ronan(Odenton, Md./Arundel) will provide a stingy defensive line as well as solid offensive support after combining for seven goals and four assists last fall.

Featuring a new tournament format in 2018, all six CAC squads will advance to the conference playoffs, with the championship game set for Saturday, November 3.

Christopher Newport University, the defending CAC champion, and Salisbury University topped the preseason poll after both teams advanced to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship Tournament and finished ranked in the Top 10.

St. Mary’s tallied nine points to finish four points ahead of sixth-place Frostburg State University and four points behind fourth-place University of Mary Washington.

The Seahawks begin the 2018 season Friday afternoon, hosting Goucher College at 4:00 p.m. on the newly minted turf field at the Jamie L. Roberts Stadium Complex.

The full preseason coaches’ poll is listed below with first-place votes in parenthesis.

By Nairem Moran ·nmoran@smcm.edu

2018 CAC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Christopher Newport

23 points (3)

1. Salisbury

23 points (3)

3. York

17 points

4. Mary Washington

13 points

5. St. Mary’s (Md.)

9 points

6. Frostburg State

5 points