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Syracuse Field Hockey Picked to Finish Third in ACC Preseason Poll

The Syracuse field hockey team was selected by coaches to finish third in the Atlantic Coastal Conference in 2014.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic Coastal Conference released its preseason field hockey coaches' poll on Monday, and the Syracuse Orange were picked to finish 2014 in third-place.

Syracuse was one of four teams to receive at least one first-place vote. Duke received the most first-place votes (three) but earned one fewer point than did North Carolina, which was picked to win the ACC.

This comes only nine months after Syracuse was ranked No. 2 in the country by the National Field Hockey Coaches association in the final Penn Moto / NFHCA Division I poll of 2013. Syracuse is ranked No. 6 in this preseason's edition of the poll.

Also released by the ACC on Monday were the field hockey coaches' awards. Two Syracuse players -- Alyssa Manley and Kati Nearhouse -- were selected to the Preseason All-ACC Team.

Manley, a sophomore midfielder, was a starter for Syracuse in every game last season and totaled 18 points. At season's end, she was voted a third-team All-American by the NFHCA and a second-team All-ACC member.

Nearhouse practiced with Syracuse in 2013 but, having transferred from Old Dominion, was ineligible to play games under NCAA transfer rules. She earned second-team All-American honors in 2012, when she finished with 21 points for the season and led Old Dominion to the Final Four.

Syracuse begins its season this Friday afternoon, when it travels to Columbus to face Ohio State in the first of four consecutive games the Orange will play in Ohio.