IWC women’s soccer picked 8th in preseason poll
The Iowa Wesleyan College women’s soccer team, entering its first year in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), has been picked to finish eighth of 10 teams in the conference’s preseason poll.
The Tigers received 19 points in the poll, topping Eureka College (18 points) and MacMurray College (15 points).
Webster University took the top spot in the poll, as they return all 11 starters from last year’s team that finished in a three-way tie for first in the regular season a year ago and reached the NCAA DIII National Tournament.
Webster garnered 80 points and eight first-place votes as voted on by the SLIAC women’s soccer coaches. The team finished 2012 with a 16-6 overall record and went 7-1-1 in the conference, advancing to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Principia College was picked second in the poll with 69 points, including one first-place vote.
Principia, who tied for the regular season title last year, finished 2012 with a 10-7-1 overall record and advancing to the SLIAC Tournament.
After finishing fourth in the regular season standings last year, Greenville College was picked to finish third in the preseason poll. Greenville was 11-9 overall last year and went 5-3 in conference play.
Fontbonne University, who was picked fourth in the preseason last year before tying for first place in the regular season, is hoping for a repeat performance this year.
The Griffins were again picked fourth this preseason, receiving 61 points. Fontbonne is led by last year’s SLIAC Coach of the Year, Brian Hoener, and is coming off a 10-9 overall record. The Griffins return seven starters and 12 players, highlighted by a trio of First Team All-Conference performers in Kelly Lange, Ava Johnson and Erica Kaiping.
Westminster College picked up 46 points and was picked to finish fifth in the SLIAC this year. The Blue Jays are coming off a 4-12 season in which they were 3-5 in conference play. They return 17 players and 10 starters from last year’s squad.
Spalding University finished just behind Westminster, receiving 44 points, and is picked to finish sixth. Spalding finished 9-8 last season.
Blackburn College received 30 points and is picked seventh this season after a 4-10-1 mark last year. The Beavers return 10 players including six starters and will be led by a strong upper class.
IWC, entering the SLIAC for the first season, received 19 points and is picked eighth in the conference. The Tigers were 6-11 last season under first year head coach Brocklon Chatman and return juniors Savanna Blair of Redlands, Calif., and Kristine Becks of St. Peter, Mo. Blair is their leading returning scorer with nine goals and five assists.
Joining the team are freshmen defenders Cassie Lyons of St. Peter, Mo., and Hannah Maledy of Barnhart, Mo.
Eureka College received 18 points in the poll and is picked ninth. The Red Devils return eight starters from last year’s team that finished 5-13 overall.
MacMurray College rounds out the preseason poll, receiving 15 points, after going 3-16 last year.
IWC opens the season at home against Culver-Stockton College on Aug. 31. The Tigers play their first conference game on Sept. 28 when they host Fontbonne College.