Hofstra Picked To Repeat In CAA Women's Soccer
RICHMOND, Va. (August 6, 2013) – Hofstra has been picked to repeat as the CAA women’s soccer champion in 2013 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches.
The Pride received six first-place votes and 61 total points to narrowly edge out defending regular-season champion William and Mary, which earned the other three first-place votes and had 59 total points. Only four points separated third through sixth place in the poll with UNCW (40 points) selected third followed by James Madison (39), Drexel (37) and Northeastern (36). Rounding out the poll were Delaware (29), CAA newcomer College of Charleston (12) and Towson (11).
Hofstra welcomes back 10 of its 11 starters from last year’s 11-9-2 squad that captured its first CAA championship since 2007. Leading the group of returnees for the Pride is sophomore forward Leah Galton, who earned first-team All-CAA and CAA Rookie of the Year honors after ranking second in the league with 11 goals and 27 points. Also back are first-team All-CAA midfielder Jill Mulholland (6g, 5a), third-team All-CAA defender Ruby Staplehurst and junior midfielders Sam Scolarici (10g, 1a) and Lulu Echeverry (8g, 5a). Returning in goal is senior Emily Morphitis (1.40 GAA), who was named the Most Outstanding Player at the CAA Championship.
William and Mary has eight starters returning from last year’s 14-5-1 team that claimed the CAA regular-season title for the second year in a row. Forward Dani Rutter (7g, 3a) and defender Emily Fredrikson each earned second-team All-CAA honors in 2012. Four other returnees – forward Barbara Platenberg, midfielder Nicole Baxter (4g, 2a), defender Leci Irvin and goalkeeper Caroline Casey (0.71 GAA, 7 ShO) – made the CAA All-Rookie squad. The Tribe has posted an NCAA-record 30 consecutive winning seasons.
UNCW was the most improved team in the nation (+9 wins) last season after compiling a 12-7-3 overall mark and reaching the CAA championship game for the first time since 2009. The Seahawks have six starters returning, including third-team All-CAA performers Maddie McCormick (8g, 3a) and Stephanie Bronson (5g, 3a) along with All-Rookie defender Lindsey Byrne.
Back to lead James Madison are All-CAA defender Becky Sparks and top scorer Lauren Wilson (8g, 2a). Drexel returns goalkeeper Eve Badana (0.68 GAA, 10 ShO), the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, along with all-conference defender Melissa Chapman (4g) and midfielder Sam Greenfield (5g, 1a). Northeastern features first-team All-CAA midfielder Hanna Terry (2g, 5a) as well as defender Awnalisa Walker and goalkeeper Paige Burnett.
The CAA has had five different teams capture the league title over the past five years. The conference has placed multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 15 of the past 20 seasons.
2013 CAA WOMEN’S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
1. Hofstra (6 first-place votes) 61
2. William and Mary (3 first-place votes) 59
3. UNCW 40
4. James Madison 39
5. Drexel 37
6. Northeastern 36
7. Delaware 29
8. College of Charleston 12
9. Towson 11
(Teams received 8 points for a first-place vote, 7 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)