INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Division III Field Hockey Committee has announced the field of 24 teams that will compete in the 2011 Division III Championship.

Sixteen teams will compete in eight first-round games Wednesday, Nov. 9.  The eight first-round winners, along with the eight teams that received a first-round bye, will compete at four campus sites during second/third-round play, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12 and 13. 

The winners of the four sites will advance to the semifinals and finals Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20, at Vendetti Field on the campus of Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Semifinals will be played at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET Saturday, Nov. 19, with the championship game being played at 1 p.m. ET, Sunday Nov. 20. 

Seventeen conferences have been awarded automatic qualification for their champions into the 2011 championship.  Two teams were selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. Finally, five berths were reserved for Pool C, which consists of institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champions and the remaining teams from Pool B.

Conferences and Schools Receiving Automatic Qualification
CONFERENCE SCHOOL
Capital Athletic Conference Salisbury
Centennial Conference Ursinus
Colonial States Athletic Conference Gwynedd-Mercy
Commonwealth Conference Messiah
Commonwealth Coast Conference Endicott
Empire 8 Washington and Jefferson
Freedom Conference Eastern
Landmark Catholic
Liberty League Skidmore
Little East Conference Keene State
New England Small College Athletic Conference Bowdoin
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference MIT
New Jersey Athletic Conference TCNJ
North Atlantic Conference Husson
North Coast Athletic Conference Denison
Old Dominion Athletic Conference Lynchburg
State University of New York Athletic Conference SUNY Cortland
Pool B Teams
SCHOOL
Christopher Newport
Rhodes 
Pool C Teams
SCHOOL
Amherst 
Franklin & Marshall 
Middlebury 
Montclair State 
William Smith 

Bowdoin looks to defend its title.  In the 2010 championship, the Polar Bears defeated the Messiah Falcons 2-1, in a match decided by penalty strokes. Previous champions in this year’s tournament include:  TCNJ (1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999), Salisbury (1986, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009), SUNY Cortland (1993, 1994, 2001), Bowdoin (2007, 2008, 2010), William Smith (1992, 1997, 2000), Middlebury (1998) and Ursinus (2006).

Three schools will make history this year with their first appearance in the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship:  Catholic, Endicott, and Washington and Jefferson. Salisbury is making its 18th consecutive championship appearance, the longest active streak in Division III field hockey.