All-ACC Field Hockey Honors
|(Jared gets out of the office for a day)
While I was out working the fair and enjoying all of the wonderful fair food (and Tums) yesterday, UofL field hockey had some positive news and some that was a little more questionable.
Alli Bitting and Charlie van Oirschot were named to the 2021 Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team. The Cards were picked to finish tied for fifth in the ACC.
Bitting is a fifth-year midfielder and defender who has been a crucial part of the Cardinal defense in recent years. She is also looking to earn a third straight NFHCA All-American honor. She had eight assists and two goals last year.
Van Oirschot is in her second season with the Cards after a strong rookie year. The midfielder posted four goals and two assists en route to an All-ACC selection and West Region Second Team honor.
Boston College was picked to finish second in the conference as the Eagles have been building their program up in recent years. Virginia was picked to finish third but did receive the remaining first place vote. Wake Forest was voted to finish fourth.
Louisville lands fifth, a noticeable drop from last season's strong finish. The loss of Mechi Pastor, Meghan Schneider, Biz Allgeier, Madison Walsh, Hollyn Barr, and Margot Lawn from last fall's team certainly could be considered a "hit "for Louisville and could be a big factor on their low preseason prediction.
However, a pick to finish fifth or worse seems a little low for a program that has been great and just gotten better in recent years under the leadership of Justine Sowry. I can understand not being picked to finish first or even second with the loss of several key players, but fifth seems quite low for this program. But hey, just more room to proof the doubters wrong.
Louisville finished last season ranked #3 after advancing to the program's first ever Final Four. The preseason NFHCA rankings have not been released yet but the Cards should start the year ranked in the Top 10, and after their performance against Bellarmine yesterday, they should surprise a few teams this year.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!