Ursuline College soccer team picked first in G-MAC preseason poll
September 02, 2014
The Ursuline College soccer team was picked to finish first of eight teams in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released on Thursday (August 28) morning.
Ursuline received just one first place vote but still finished ahead of Cedarville University, the top pick of five coaches in the conference. Trevecca University was ranked third while defending tournament champion Davis & Elkins College was slotted fourth.
Kentucky Wesleyan College was tabbed fifth, one spot ahead of Alderson Broaddus University. Ohio Valley University and Salem International University rounded out the poll.
Note: Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Ursuline was picked first on one ballot and second by the other six coaches to combine for 50 points. Cedarville was picked first five times (40 points) but also received fourth and fifth place votes to come in with 49 points.
The Arrows are coming off a 12-8-1 (5-5 G-MAC) season in which they advanced all the way to the conference final. Five of the top six scorers from the 2013 team return, as do four defenders who combined for 83 starts last year. Sophomore goalkeeper Helen Jazzar was a first team all-conference performer as a rookie and figures to only improve with another year of experience.
Offensively, junior Vanessa Consiglio (33 points in 2013), senior Paige Rowan (32) and sophomore Cassie Cripe (28) all return. Senior midfielder Anna Feitl, who joined Consiglio on the NSCAA All-Midwest Region Team, started all 21 matches as a junior and was credited with nine assists to tie Consiglio for the team lead and a spot in the top-25 nationally.
Defensively, key clogs in seniors Brittany Prato and Lexi Bradford are back in the mix, as are juniors Giuliana Pugliese and Leah Zucker. Jazzar had a 1.46 goals against average and a .712 save percentage in her first collegiate season.
Pair all that with a talented recruiting class and the Arrows are expecting big things in 2014.
UC opens the season on September 4th at Concord University. After a match at Shepherd University on September 6th, the Arrows play nine consecutive home contests between September 9th and October 5th.
All home games will be covered with free live audio on the Ursuline College Sports Network.
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