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Washington and Lee, Lynchburg Tied Atop ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Washington and Lee, Lynchburg Tied Atop ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

W&L with Seven First Place Votes, LC Gets Remaining Six

FOREST, Va. --- Two squads stand atop the 2017 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as both Washington and Lee University and Lynchburg College earned 138 points following an annual vote of the league's head coaches. The Generals have a slight edge in the survey after receiving seven first place votes, while the Hornets garnered the remaining six. Virginia Wesleyan University sits third with 120 markers, while Bridgewater College and Shenandoah University each cleared the century mark with 105 and 103 tallies in fourth and fifth position, respectively.

The 2016 season provided two new occurrences for ODAC fans, including a successful application of an unbalanced schedule for the first time in league history. At season's end, the last team standing also proved a relatively fresh face with Washington and Lee securing its fourth overall league crown and first since 2009, ending a six-year title-run by Lynchburg.

The competition for the 2016 conference hardware featured W&L and Virginia Wesleyan in the final game. The Generals punched in two first-half goals inside the first 29 minutes from Tricia Jessee and Megan Engeland. The second goal proved the decider as the Marlins came up short knotting the affair in the second half, securing only a 70-minute tally from Angie Hartman and leaving W&L with a 2-1 championship result.

The Generals, winners of the ODAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, did not enter the field without some conference friends. Both Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan joined them as at-large selections, marking the first time since 2011 that the ODAC received multiple entries to the NCAA women's soccer tournament. Lynchburg proved the most successful on the national stage. The Hornets took down Hope College (Mich.), 3-2, in the first round, but fell to Thomas More College (Ky.) in the second round via the tightest of margins, 1-0. W&L and VWU (then VWC) both saw their campaigns close in round one with 3-0 scorelines. The Generals were topped by Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), while the Marlins were defeated by Brandeis University (Mass.).

For the second straight year, a majority of the conference's All-ODAC honorees from a season ago are set to return in 2017 with 24 standouts donning league kits. Bridgewater and Virginia Wesleyan lead the way in overall tally of holdovers with six all-league competitors each back on their rosters. When it comes to All-ODAC First Team selections back for another go, nine are slated to lace 'em up this season.

Lynchburg, Shenandoah, and Washington and Lee account for two first team selections each. LC welcomes back forward Caitlin Mertens and 2015 ODAC Player of the Year, centerback Emily Maxwell. SU showcases last year's ODAC top scorer and Rookie of the Year, Emily Yergin (50 pts., 21 goals), as well as centerback Michelle Krause. W&L and reigning ODAC Coach of the Year Neil Cunningham will look to 2016 ODAC Player of the Year, midfielder Megan Engeland, and forward Caroline Peters to lead the charge for the preseason nationally 24th-ranked Generals. Bridgewater forward Keri Rager is set for her senior season as an Eagle, while Roanoke College returns center midfielder Emily Whitaker. Virginia Wesleyan features the remaining first team honoree with Zoe Traficante patrolling the middle of the park.

The 2017 season begins with non-conference play on Friday, September 1.  The first ODAC game is slated for September 16. The regular season closes on Sunday, October 29 with tournament playing opening for eight squads in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, November 1. The highest remaining seed will host the semifinals and championship on Saturday-Sunday, November 4-5. If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio and statistics links.

Listed below is the 2017 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC women's soccer programs.  For more information on ODAC women's soccer, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, 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.

2017 ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Washington and Lee University (7) 138 pts.
1. Lynchburg College (6) 138 pts.
3. Virginia Wesleyan University 120 pts.
4. Bridgewater College 105 pts.
5. Shenandoah University 103 pts.
6. Roanoke College 95 pts.
7. Randolph-Macon College 78 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite University 61 pts.
9. Randolph College 53 pts.
10. Guilford College 50 pts.
11. Emory & Henry College 38 pts.
12. Sweet Briar College 20 pts.
13. Hollins University 15 pts.


 

 


 

2017 Poll Position: 4th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 13-5-1/6-3-1
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (LC, 2-0)
Head Coach: Mike Van Horn
Overall Record/Yrs: 102-63-9 (.612)/9
Record at BC/Yrs: 102-63-9 (.612)/9
ODAC Record/Yrs: 64-33-4 (.653)/9
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Keri Rager (F)
  Second Team: Isabella Krider (M), Sydney Ryan (D)
  Third Team: Bailey Kratz (F), Katherine Wight (M), Sarah Brennan (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 22 - Keri Rager
  Goals: 9 - Keri Rager
  Assists: 11 - Isabella Krider
  Saves: 53 - Hayley Talbot
  2017 Poll Position: 7th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-8-3/5-4-1
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #7/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (VWU, 3-0)
Head Coach: Jay Howell
Overall Record/Yrs: 24-25-4 (.491)/3
Record at RMC/Yrs: 24-25-4 (.491)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 16-16-1 (.500)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Gabby Nelson (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 13 - Gabby Nelson
  Goals: 6 - Gabby Nelson
  Assists: 2 - Jenna Burns/Courtney Taylor
  Saves: 45 - Christina Newman
     
2017 Poll Position: 8th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 8-10-1/4-6-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #8/Eliminated in 1st Round (RAND, 1-0)
Head Coach: Ted Erickson
Overall Record/Yrs: 16-37-3 (.313)/3
Record at EMU/Yrs: 16-37-3 (.313)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 9-23-1 (.288)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Laura Rittenhouse (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 20 - Laura Rittenhouse
  Goals: 10 - Laura Rittenhouse
  Assists: 4 - Amanda Williams
  Saves: 65 - Leah Wenger
  2017 Poll Position: 6th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 9-6-4/7-3-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (SU, 1-1, 4-2 on PKs)
Head Coach: Phil Benne
Overall Record/Yrs: 318-184-44 (.623)/28
Record at RC/Yrs: 318-184-44 (.623)/28
ODAC Record/Yrs: 191-72-17 (.713)/28
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emily Whitacker (M)
  Second Team: Laura Sullivan (D)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 15 - Emily Whitaker
  Goals: 5 - Jillian Barnard/Emily Whitaker
  Assists: 7 - Megan Ryan
  Saves: 74 - Chris Martin
     
2017 Poll Position: 11th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 4-13-1/1-8-1
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: McCallie Jones-Winstead
Overall Record/Yrs: First Year
Record at E&H/Yrs: First Year
ODAC Record/Yrs: First Year
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 8 - Gillian Hogg
  Goals: 4 - Gillian Hogg
  Assists: 3 - Lexi DeMers
  Saves: 69 - Kayla Wright
  2017 Poll Position: 5th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 13-7-1/7-3-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Eliminated in Semifinals (W&L, 5-2)
Head Coach: Liz Pike
Overall Record/Yrs: 104-86-16 (.547)/10
Record at SU/Yrs: 104-86-16 (.547)/10
ODAC Record/Yrs: 37-16-4 (.684)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Michelle Krause (D), Emily Yergin (F-ROY)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Sara Fuller (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 50 - Emily Yergin
  Goals: 21 - Emily Yergin
  Assists: 8 - Emily Yergin
  Saves: None
     
2017 Poll Position: 10th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 6-9-1/3-6-1
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #10/Eliminated in 1st Round (RMC, 1-0)
Head Coach: Stephanie Webb
Overall Record/Yrs: First Year
Record at GC/Yrs: First Year
ODAC Record/Yrs: First Year
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Juliana Evans-Anfom (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 17 - Juliana Evans-Anfom
  Goals: 7 - Juliana Evans-Anfom
  Assists: 3 - Juliana Evans-Anfom
  Saves: 43 - Cheyenne Grim
  2017 Poll Position: 12th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 2-15-0/1-9-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not compete in the ODAC
Head Coach: Amy Dahlin
Overall Record/Yrs: 2-23-0 (.080)/2
Record at SU/Yrs: 2-23-0 (.080)/2
ODAC Record/Yrs: 1-9-0 (.100)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 2 - Cassidy Bodkin/Jona Cumani/Elizabeth Phaup
  Goals: 1 - Cassidy Bodkin/Jona Cumani/Elizabeth Phaup
  Assists: 1 - Alexa Dahlin/Lacey Tucker/Melissa Wert
  Saves: 153 - Caroline Thomas
     
2017 Poll Position: 13th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 2-17-0/0-10-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Robin Ramirez
Overall Record/Yrs: 13-91-1 (.129)/6
Record at HU/Yrs: 2-50-0 (.038)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 0-33-0 (.000)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 2 - Miranda Springston
  Goals: 1 - Miranda Springston
  Assists: None
  Saves: None
  2017 Poll Position: 3rd
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 12-6-3/7-0-3
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Runner-up (W&L, 2-1)
2016 NCAA Tournament: Eliminated by Brandeis (3-0) in 1st Round
Head Coach: Jeff Bowers
Overall Record/Yrs: 249-79-35 (.734)/17
Record at VWC/Yrs: 249-79-35 (.734)/17
ODAC Record/Yrs: 152-23-15 (.839)/17
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Zoe Traficante (M)
  Second Team: Marli Hayward (F), Ann Marie Moffett (D), Alexia Vassiliadis (D)
  Third Team: Ryan McCurry (M), Taylor Chapman (GK)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 22 - Marli Hayward
  Goals: 11 - Marli Hayward
  Assists: 7 - Brooke Adamchak
  Saves: 66 - Taylor Chapman
     
2017 Poll Position: T-1st
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-3-3/7-1-2
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Eliminated in Semifinals (VWU, 1-0)
2016 NCAA Tournament: Def. Hope (3-2) in 1st Round; eliminated by Thomas More (1-0) in 2nd round
Head Coach: Dr. Todd Olsen
Overall Record/Yrs: 399-88-46 (.792)/23
Record at LC/Yrs: 399-88-46 (.792)/23
ODAC Record/Yrs: 198-26-18 (.855)/23
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Caitlin Mertens (F), Emily Maxwell (D)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 25 - Caitlin Mertens
  Goals: 10 - Caitlin Mertens
  Assists: 5 - Madlyn Amos/Sarah Hammock/Caitlin Mertens
  Saves: 3 - Caitlin Dorsch/Delia LoSapio
  2017 Poll Position: T-1st
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-4-1/8-1-1
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Champion (VWU, 2-1)
2016 NCAA Tournament: Eliminated by Hardin-Simmons (3-0) in 1st Round
Head Coach: Neil Cunningham
Overall Record/Yrs: 292-82-32 (.759)/22
Record at W&L/Yrs: 230-52-28 (.787)/16
ODAC Record/Yrs: 142-21-15 (.840) /16
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Caroline Peters (F), Megan Engeland (M-POY)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 21 - Megan Engeland
  Goals: 10 - Megan Engeland
  Assists: 7 - Caroline Peters
  Saves: 3 - Leeann Passaro
     
2017 Poll Position: 9th
2016 Records - Overall/ODAC: 6-11-1/4-6-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #9/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (W&L, 5-0)
Head Coach: Kevin Porterfield
Overall Record/Yrs: 83-172-7 (.328)/15
Record at RAND/Yrs: 83-172-7 (.328)/15
ODAC Record/Yrs: 36-128-3 (.225)/15
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 None
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 12 - Patricia Garrett
  Goals: 5 - Delaney Doyle
  Assists: 4 - Patricia Garrett
  Saves: 72 - Stephanie Quirk