The National Field Hockey Coaches Association released its Top 20 Preseason Poll on Tuesday with UMass finishing just out of the top 20. The Minutewomen are the top "receiving votes" team, coming in with 98.
UMass, under first-year head coach Carla Tagliente will face a tough schedule in 2011. The Minutewomen will face three of the top five teams in the preseason poll, including No. 1 Maryland, who comes to Garber Field on Sept. 18. The Minutewomen will face six teams of the top 20 teams in the preseason poll and seven more that received votes, accounting for 13 of the 18 regular season games.
The Minutewomen open the season this weekend with a pair of games in Burlington, Vt. On Saturday, UMass takes on No. 14 Boston College at 3 p.m., and then on Sunday faces Vermont at 3 p.m.
UMass opens at home on Sept. 10 against Harvard.