ODU field hockey is unanimous No. 1

Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Undefeated Old Dominion is unanimously the top-ranked field hockey team in the nation in this week’s National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll, following the Lady Monarchs’ second win over a then-No. 1 school this season, a 3-1 triumph at North Carolina on Friday.

ODU (8-0) followed the win over UNC with a 3-2, double-overtime win at No. 6 Duke on Sunday afternoon.

Duke tied the match 2-2 with 14 minutes remaining in regulation. ODU’s Kati Nearhouse scored the sudden-death winner 23:28 into overtime for ODU’s fourth win over an ACC opponent on the season.


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The Lady Monarchs received all 47 first-place votes in the NFHCA Poll. It’s the first No. 1 ranking for ODU since 2002. ODU’s outscored its foes 27-8 this season.

Freshman Kelsey Smither (Lakeland) has started all eight matches and has a goal and six assists for ODU.

The Lady Monarchs start Colonial play at home this weekend, hosting Hofstra Friday at 5 p.m. and Northeastern Sunday at 1 p.m.

Senior defender Lindsay Cutchins (Lakeland) scored her first goal of the season for James Madison as the Lady Dukes beat Richmond 2-1 in overtime on Saturday.


Cutchins scored off a penalty corner in the 25th minute for a 1-0 JMU lead. It was her 11th career goal as a Lady Duke.

Sophomore Stephanie Tarafas (Nansemond River) is the second-string goalkeeper for JMU, having played in two games with a 1-1 record.

JMU (3-3) hosts Drexel on Friday and Towson on Sunday in Colonial matches.

Longwood and midfielder Katie Byrum (Lakeland) beat Virginia Commonwealth and forward Kendell Combs (Lakeland) 2-1 at VCU on Thursday.

Byrum played 42 minutes and took two shots on goal for the Lady Lancers. Combs had two shots on goal in 31 minutes for VCU.

Longwood prevailed despite VCU having a 16-8 advantage in shots and a 5-2 margin in corners. Longwood’s leading scorer Stacy de Grandhomme scored her 10th goal of the season for the decisive goal in the 66th minute.

Longwood (3-5) played at No. 2 North Carolina Wednesday. The Lady Lancers host Liberty, and freshman Megan Johnson (Lakeland), on Saturday in Farmville. VCU (2-6) hosts Towson Friday night.

Winston-Salem State romped to a 55-24 CIAA football win at Chowan Saturday.

WSSU junior Darryl Freeney (Nansemond River) caught his second touchdown pass in as many games. Freeney scored on a 46-yard catch to give the Rams a 48-10 lead in the third quarter.

WSSU (3-0, 2-0) continues in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association play Saturday hosting Fayetteville St.


Former Nansemond-Suffolk setter Mackenzie Westfall is doing a fine job in the same position for Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.

The Dutch-women (8-5) went 3-1 in a tournament in Ithaca, N.Y. Sept. 9-10 and 3-1 in a tourney at Union last weekend.

Westfall, a sophomore, had 42 assists in a five-set win against Widener in the Ithaca tournament. She had 29 assists and nine digs in a sweep over Hartwick in the Union Invitational.

For the season, Westfall is averaging 9.6 assists per set and 2.14 digs per set. She’s totaled 202 assists in nine matches, while making one setting error.