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Based on a poll of the Colonial Athletic Association's nine head coaches, Old Dominion is favored to reclaim the 2005 field hockey championship.

The Lady Monarchs received 60 total points to lead the poll, including four first-place votes and four second-place votes. William and Mary placed second, garnering three first-place votes for a total of 52 points, while the defending champion Blue Hens collected the other two first-place votes for total of 51 points. CAA newcomer Northeastern, which has captured the past four America East Conference titles, followed with 43 points. James Madison placed fifth in the poll followed by last season's tournament runner-up, Hofstra. Drexel, Virginia Commonwealth and Towson round out the rest of the poll.

Old Dominion went 13-8 overall last season and participated in a record 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament, but had its streak of eight consecutive CAA championships come to an end. The Lady Monarchs' lineup features nine returning starters including First Team All-CAA selections Dana Sensenig and Janelle Engle. Sensenig, who was also a Third Team All-American, led the CAA with 13 assists and was second in the conference with 15 goals.

The CAA is traditionally one of the strongest field hockey conferences in the nation. Four teams were ranked last season in the final STX/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll (No. 9 Northeastern, No. 12 Old Dominion, No. 14 Delaware, No. 15 William & Mary).

This article was posted on: August 12, 2005

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