Date Posted:08/26/2008,  2:30PM

Field Hockey Ranked First in Preseason Poll

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The defending national champion Bowdoin College field hockey team is ranked first in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Preseason Division III poll released on Tuesday. The Polar Bears received 18 of 21 first-place votes in the rankings.

Bowdoin, who finished the 2008 campaign 20-0 and capped the season with the school's first-ever national championship, return eight of 11 starters from 2007, including their top three scorers. The Polar Bears have not lost a regular-season game since September 23, 2006 and have claimed 33 consecutive home victories dating back to October 31, 2004.

The NESCAC features four teams within the top-20 in the poll, led by Bowdoin (1) and followed by Middlebury (6), Tufts (16) and Williams (19). The Polar Bears will open their regular season at home on September 6 against Wellesley College at 1:00 p.m.