Scranton Claims Top Spot in Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark Conference coaches have picked the University of Scranton to defend its 2011 title in women's soccer this season. The Royals earned five first place votes and 55 points to lead the league while 2011 runner-up, Catholic University, received the final two first place votes and 48 points to finish second in the poll. Drew University and Susquehanna University tied for third with 31 points apiece.
Scranton (13-4, 6-0) won their third conference championship last year after the team went undefeated in conference play and posted two shutouts on the way to earning the tournament title. The Royals and head coach Colleen Murphy return nine starters and 22 letter winners from a year ago. Junior goalkeeper Kesley McAnelly, a second-team all-conference choice in 2011, returns along with the entire back line, led by conference Defensive Player of the Year Amanda Kresge. Junior Sam Russo and senior Sarah Gibbons will provide the offensive punch after tying for the team lead with eight goals each last season.
Catholic (12-7, 5-1) had a strong 2011 season advancing to its third conference championship in the last four years. The Cardinals lost a strong senior class, which included a pair of All-Region selections, but return five of their top seven scorers from a season ago.
After appearing in the 2010 Landmark Championship game, Drew (8-10, 2-4) missed the 2011 playoffs but return second leading scorer Katie O'Keefe and midfielder Courtney Carnevale. The Rangers will also welcome back Kim Jaikisoon who made all 22 starts in goal in 2010.
Susquehanna (7-8-3, 2-2-2) graduate Nick Hoover is in his first full season as the head women's soccer coach after serving as associate head coach last fall. The Crusaders return four of their top five goal scorers from a year ago as well as their starting keeper.
Moravian (6-11-2, 2-3-1) was selected fifth in the poll with 21 points while Goucher (6-9, 1-5) was picked sixth with 16 points. Juniata (5-9-3, 1-4-1) rounded out the poll with 15 points for seventh place.
The 2012 season kicks off Friday, August 31 with three teams in action before the remaining four teams begin the season September 1.
The top four teams in the final regular season standings qualify for postseason play in the Landmark Conference Tournament. The top two seeds will host semifinals October 31 with the highest remaining seed scheduled to host the championship November 3. The conference champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
|2012 Landmark Women's Soccer Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|