BRUNSWICK, Maine - The defending national champions are ranked first in the preseason Division III poll released by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association on Tuesday.
Bowdoin, who claimed its fourth national crown in the last seven years last autumn, will open the 2014 campaign as the top-ranked team in Division III. Coming off a 18-3 season that ended with a 1-0 win over Salisbury in the national title game, Bowdoin received 37 of 43 first-place votes in the poll. Salisbury stands second, Montclair State third and Christopher Newport fourth in the rankings. Bowdoin beat those three teams in the NCAA Tournament en route to the crown last fall.
NESCAC rivals Middlebury (5th), Tufts (7th), and Amherst (10th) also appear in the poll.
The Polar Bears will open their 2014 campaign on Saturday, September 6 at Wesleyan.