Lynchburg Favored in ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
LC Earns 10 Top Votes, W&L and VWC Pick Up First Place Consideration
FOREST, Va. --- Four-time defending ODAC
champion Lynchburg College secured 10 first place votes towards 141
total points to lead the 2014 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason
Poll. Five squads collected more than 100 tallies, with
Washington and Lee University sitting second with 130 points and
one first place nod. Virginia Wesleyan College picked up a
pair of top considerations to go along with 104 markers.
Roanoke College and Bridgewater College round out the top-five,
having gathered 107 and 103 points, respectively.
The 2013 ODAC title game ended much like the previous three, with LC hoisting the trophy via a 2-0 victory over Washington and Lee. The win marked the eighth title in the last 10 years for the Hornets, and also tied Lynchburg with Randolph-Macon College atop the conference's all-time record book with 12 league crowns.
Lynchburg's season continued with its seventh straight trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. LC traveled to Atlanta, Ga., for first and second round action, meeting up with Centre College in its opening game. After topping the Colonels, 3-2, the Hornets squared off with host Emory University in round two. LC went ahead early with a fifth-minute tally from Jessie Gonzalez, but two Eagles' goals before the intermission and a scoreless second half eliminated the Hornets from the tourney, 2-1.
ODAC women's soccer fans will not lack for recognizable names and star power to support in 2014 as 30 All-ODAC honorees return to pitches across the conference. Three of those athletes wear Lynchburg (22-2-0 overall, 12-0-0 ODAC in 2013) colors. Reigning ODAC Coach of the Year Dr. Todd Olsen saw four players earn All-ODAC First Team accolades last season, and he's got three back this season. One of those standouts is 2013 ODAC Player of the Year Dessi Dupuy (23 g, 7 as), who led the ODAC in scoring and opens the season on the doorstep of the conference's all-time points and goals scored records. She's tallied 77 career goals to sit second, while her 173 points are sixth. Forward Angela Bosco (15 g, 7 ast) and midfielder Jenn Snyder (2 g, 3 ast) joined Dupuy on the All-ODAC First Team. Forward Morgan Singer (15 g, 2 ast) and midfielder Jade Woll (6 g, 12 ast) earned All-ODAC Third Team laurels. Goalkeeper Tess Frelick (20 sv, 0.45 gaa, .800 sv%) is back minding the net, while midfielders Nicole Kopsidas (6 g, 1 ast) and Kelley Smith (4 g, 5 ast) and forward Marina Clark (8 g, 4 ast) add further punch to the Hornets' roster.
Washington and Lee (17-3-1, 11-1-0) played in its first ODAC title game in 2013 since winning the hardware in 2009, and the Generals return five all-conference standouts from last season's squad. The group includes a quartet of first teamers with midfielder Holley Beasley (8 g, 7 ast) and forward Haley Ward (7 g, 9 ast) leading the offense and goalkeeper Addie Healy (51 sv, 0.48 gaa, .864 sv%) and reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year, defender Ashley Hogan, spearheading the defense. Midfielder Lauren Abraham (6 g) collected All-ODAC Second Team honors. Forward Tricia Jessee (9 g, 1 ast) adds more fuel to a Generals' offense that returns every player that scored a goal in 2013.
Virginia Wesleyan (12-5-2, 9-3-0) also welcomes back five all-conference performers, tying W&L for the league lead. Forward Kaitlyn Clunan (11 g, 2 ast) and midfielder Kerry Knauss (3 g, 1 ast) both earned first team accolades, while forward Jasmine Dao (3 g, 4 ast), midfielder Kristen Mack (2 g, 2 ast) and defender Allie Ketzler (1 g, 1 ast) picked up third team honors. The defense is further bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Megan Gerhart (53 sv, 0.50 gaa, .841 sv%).
Roanoke (10-6-2, 8-3-1) had a stretch of nine undefeated games in 2013, going 8-0-1 over that stretch before falling in the ODAC quarterfinals. First team midfielder Nathalie Torres (5 g) is one of four returning All-ODAC players looking to help the Maroons advance further in this season's tourney. She's joined by a pair of second team selections in defender Kaitlyn Manning and midfielder Ashley Barnes (9 g), as well as third team goalkeeper Carolyn Sarbacher (62 sv, 0.71 gaa, .849 sv%).
Bridgewater (11-8-1, 7-4-1) features a trio of all-conference stars on its roster in 2014, including first team defender Elizabeth Stump. Forward Julia Baca (9 g) and midfielder Michelle Viegas (5 g, 5 ast) both picked up second team laurels. The middle of the park is boosted by the return of Anna Thiesen (3 g, 5 ast), and the defense benefits from defender Ashley Crossman (2 g, 2 ast).
Shenandoah University (11-8-1, 8-3-1) has made trips to the conference semifinals in both of its first two seasons in the ODAC. Three All-ODAC athletes return for a run at the final game, including second team goalkeeper Erin Septer (76 sv, 1.44 gaa, .768 sv%). Forward Jennifer Nguyen (2 g, 3 ast) and midfielder Danielle Burris (9 g, 2 ast) both were selected to the third team. The Hornets' offense has added punch with the return of forwards Averi Rosena (6 g, 1 ast), Kati Richardson (4 g, 2 ast) and Alysha McCleaf (4 g, 1 ast).
Randolph-Macon (7-11-0, 5-7-0) will be under new leadership in 2014 as Jay Howell takes over as head coach. He's got a pair of all-conference standouts on his roster, including second team forward Katherine Schwalen (4 g, 1 ast). Midfielder Jen LaBarge (3 ast) was a third team choice last season. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Blanco (106 sv, 1.93 gaa, .774 sv%) leads the defense, while midfielder Samantha Tyler (4 g, 2 ast) and forward Samantha Panas (3 g, 3 ast) help out in the offensive third.
Emory & Henry College (4-12-2, 4-6-2) and Eastern Mennonite University (10-9-0, 5-7-0) share the remaining three all-conference returners. For the Wasps, forward Erica Merriman (3 g, 3 ast) and defender Willow Hubbard (1 ast) earned third team accolades. EMU new head coach Ted Erickson will look to second team forward Nora Osei (14 g, 3 ast) to lead his attack. Goalkeeper Becca Borg (99 sv, 2.40 gaa, .712 sv%) and midfielders Morgan Hill (2 g, 9 ast) and Elisa Ott (4 g, 2 ast) are also back.
Guilford College (1-18-0, 1-11-0) and Randolph College (4-14-0, 1-11-0) welcome back strong contributors as they look to improve upon last season. The Quakers feature forward Kelli Uresti (5 g, 3 ast) and midfielder Cassie Vaughn (1 g), as well as defenders Natalia Petkov and Becca Valchar. The WildCats feature leading scorer Brittany Hammons (10 g, 1 ast), as well as midfield-mate Amy Ramos (1 g, 5 ast). Goalkeeper Caitlin Annunziata (84 sv, 4.05 gaa, .618 sv%) return to lead the defense.
Hollins University (4-12-1, 3-8-1) and Sweet Briar College (3-11-1, 1-11-0) look to climb the ODAC ladder. New head coach Robin Ramirez guides HU as he looks to add new players to returning goalkeeper Megan McKee (129 sv, 3.45 gaa, .737 sv%) and defender Bonnie Jo Blevins. The Vixens look to forward Emily Welch (3 g, 4 ast) and defender Kayla Kishbaugh (2 g, 1 ast), as well as goalkeeper Katie Tillson (107 sv, 4.91 gaa, .645 sv%).
The 2014 season begins on August 29 with non-conference competition. For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.
2014 ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes first place votes
|1. Lynchburg (10)||141 pts.|
|2. Washington and Lee (1)||130 pts.|
|3. Virginia Wesleyan (2)||124 pts.|
|4. Roanoke||107 pts.|
|5. Bridgewater||103 pts.|
|6. Shenandoah||91 pts.|
|7. Randolph-Macon||78 pts.|
|8. Emory & Henry||63 pts.|
|9. Eastern Mennonite||49 pts.|
|10. Guilford||47 pts.|
|11. Randolph||39 pts.|
|12. Hollins||21 pts.|
|12. Sweet Briar||21 pts.|