W&M Picked To Win WSOC Title
The Tribe received all 10 possible first-place votes and 100 total points since coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own team. James Madison was picked second with 81 points, followed closely by Hofstra with 79 points and Northeastern, which received one first-place tally, with 76 points. Delaware finished fifth with 64 points, followed by George Mason, Drexel, Old Dominion, UNCW, Georgia State and Towson.
William & Mary welcomes back nine starters from last year's 17-3-2 squad that captured its first CAA championship since 1993. Leading the group of returnees for the Tribe is senior midfielder Mallory Schaffer, who earned first-team All-America and CAA Player of the Year honors after leading the league with 17 goals and 40 points. Also back are first-team All-CAA midfielder Cortlyn Bristol (7g, 9a), junior midfielder Dani Rutter (7g, CAA-best 11a), second-team All-CAA defender Emily Fredrikson and CAA All-Rookie forward Emory Camper (7g, 7a). W&M has made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances in the past 19 years.
James Madison has 10 of its 11 starters returning from last season's 8-8-3 team. The Dukes return a pair of second-team All-CAA performers in junior forward Lauren Wilson (8g, 6a) and junior defender Becky Sparks (1g, 6a), as well as senior midfielder Kelly Germain and CAA All-Rookie defender Shannon Rano. JMU has earned 10 NCAA Tournament berths in the last 17 seasons.
Eight starters are back for a Hofstra team that went 10-8 overall a year ago. The top returnees for the Pride are third-team All-CAA defender Brooke Bendernagel , CAA All-Rookie midfielder Sam Scolarici (5g, 2a) and junior goalkeeper Emily Morphitis (1.03 GAA, 4 ShO). Hofstra has made three NCAA Tournament appearances and won a pair of CAA titles since 2005.
Northeastern has 17 letterwinners returning from last year's 9-10-2 squad that reached the semifinals of the CAA Tournament. Expected to lead the Huskies are third-team All-CAA forward Greta Samuelsdottir (8g) and third-team All-CAA goalkeeper Paige Burnett (1.58 GAA, 102 saves, 4 ShO). Also back is sophomore forward Devin Griffin, who was the 2010 CAA Player and Rookie of the Year after contributing 14 goals and seven assists, but missed nearly all of last season due to injury.
The CAA has had six different teams capture the league title over the past six years. The conference has placed multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 15 of the past 19 seasons.
2012 CAA WOMEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
1. William & Mary (10 first-place votes) 100
2. James Madison 81
3. Hofstra 79
4. Northeastern (1 first-place vote) 76
5. Delaware 64
6. George Mason 60
7. Drexel 35
8. Old Dominion 34
9. UNCW 28
10. Georgia State 25
11. Towson 23
(Teams received 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)