RICHMOND, Va. (August 7, 2006) –VCU, which has finished atop the CAA women’s soccer regular season standings for the past two years, has been picked to finish first again in 2006 according to a vote of the league’s 12 women’s soccer coaches.

 

The Rams received eight first-place votes and 116 total points to claim the top spot in the poll. Defending CAA champion Hofstra earned a pair of first-place votes and was picked second with 105 points, while James Madison also garnered two first-place votes and ranked third with 103 points. Perennial power William & Mary was fourth in the poll, followed by Delaware, Old Dominion, George Mason, UNC Wilmington, Northeastern, Towson, Georgia State and Drexel.

 

VCU returns eight starters from its 13-5-5 squad that went unbeaten in CAA regular-season play (9-0-2) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. The Rams return a pair of 2nd team All-CAA performers in sophomore forward Stephanie Power (10g, 4a) and junior midfielder Hayley Moorwood (3g, 3a). Also back are junior forward Pernilla Jansson (8g, 1a), junior defender Shelley Lyle (1g, 6a) and CAA All-Rookie team selection Megan Flanagan.

 

Hofstra welcomes back five starters from a 14-4-3 team that captured its first CAA title and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in school history. The Pride, which has finished third or better in all four seasons as a CAA member, features junior All-America defender Sue Weber, who was the 2005 CAA Defensive Player of the Year, junior defender/midfielder Marie Curtin (3g, 7a), who is a two-time All-CAA first team selection, and sophomore midfielder Edel Malone (8g, 5a), who was the 2005 CAA Rookie of the Year.

 

James Madison, which has made the NCAA Tournament twice in the past four seasons, has seven starters back from last year’s 12-8-1 squad. Returning for the Dukes are 1st team All-CAA junior forward Annie Lowry (7 goals), CAA All-Rookie team selection Kimmy Germain (1g, 9a) and senior forward Sarah Cebulski (4g, 2a).

 

William & Mary had its streak of 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances snapped a year ago, slipping to 7-4-9 overall. However, the Tribe has eight starters back, including 2nd team All-CAA selections Claire Zimmeck (11g, 2a) and Anna Young and senior forward Katie Hogwood (2g, 5a).

 

The CAA has placed two or more teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 11 of the past 13 seasons, and has had at least one team advance to the second round 12 times in the last 13 years.

 

2006 CAA WOMEN’S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL

 

1. VCU (8 first-place votes)                                                  116

2. Hofstra (2 first-place votes)                                      105

3. James Madison (2 first-place votes)                          103

4. William & Mary                                                                89

5. Delaware                                                                            85

6. Old Dominion                                                                    69

7. George Mason                                                             56

8. UNC Wilmington                                                                  49

9. Northeastern                                                                43

10. Towson                                                                             33

11. Georgia State                                                                32

12. Drexel                                                                               12

 

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