RICHMOND, Va. (August 17, 2009) -James Madison, which advanced to the round of 16 in last year's NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, is favored to capture the CAA women's soccer title in 2009 according to a vote of the league's head coaches.

JMU received 10 of a possible 11 first-place votes and 120 total points to claim the top spot in the poll. Perennial power William & Mary got one first-place vote and 106 points to finish second and Hofstra, which has won a pair of CAA titles in the last four years, was third with 98 points. UNC Wilmington was picked fourth in the poll and defending CAA champion Northeastern, which received one first-place vote, was chosen fifth. Old Dominion was close behind in sixth, followed by VCU, George Mason, Delaware, Towson, Georgia State and Drexel.

JMU returns nine starters from last season's 14-7-2 squad that reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the first time since 1996. The Dukes finished the year ranked #19 in the nation by the NSCAA. JMU will be led by senior forward Corky Julien, who earned CAA Player of the Year and All-America honors in 2008 after contributing 16 goals and 35 points. Also back are a trio of All-CAA performers in midfielder Teresa Rynier, forward Cate Tisinger and defender Teri Maykoski.

William & Mary posted its NCAA-record 27th consecutive winning season with a 15-7-1 mark a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the 16th time in the last 17 years. The Tribe has to replace four first-team All-CAA honorees, but still has plenty of talent returning. Junior back Kaitlin O'Connor was a third-team All-CAA pick, while sophomore back Diana Weigel received Freshman All-America honors. Up front, senior Kellie Jenkins had six goals and three assists in 2008.

Hofstra went 11-8-3 overall in 2008 and reached the CAA championship game for the third time in the last four seasons. The Pride welcomes back a pair of first-team All-CAA standouts in junior midfielder Tiffany Yovino (5 goals, 4 assists) and senior back Jess Crankshaw (2 goals, 3 assists). Also returning is sophomore midfielder Courtney Breen, who earned second-team all-conference honors in her rookie campaign.

The CAA has had three teams advance to the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the past two years. The conference has placed two or more teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 14 of the past 16 seasons.

2009 CAA WOMEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL

1.

James Madison (10 first-place votes)

120

2.

William & Mary (1 first-place vote)

106

3.

Hofstra

98

4.

UNC Wilmington

87

5.

Northeastern (1 first-place vote)

82

6.

Old Dominion

79

7.

VCU

51

8.

George Mason

49

9.

Delaware

46

10.

Towson

36

11.

Georgia State

25

12.

Drexel

13

(Teams received 11 points for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)