Moravian Sits Atop Landmark Women's Soccer Preseason
Cardinals selected second
MADISON, N.J. - The Moravian College women's soccer team has been tabbed as the favorites for the upcoming season according to the Landmark Women's Soccer Preseason Poll. The women's soccer coaches and sports information directors at each institution that sponsors the sport were polled for the preseason ballot.
Moravian was picked as the favorite on each of the ballots to earn 60 points in the polling, 11 points ahead of the second-place team. The Catholic University of America claimed that second place position with 49 points in the voting. The University of Scranton sits in third place in the poll with 43 points, and Juniata College picked up 37 points to place fourth in the poll.
Moravian was 5-1 in conference play in 2007 and earned an NCAA Tournament bid with a record of 15-6-1. The team returns its leading scorer, Tracy Fitzpatrick, who was the Landmark Offensive Player of the Year, along with three other All-Conference performers. The Greyhounds will need to replace three departed seniors who were all starters.
A young CUA team went 12-3-5 in 2007, finished third in the conference regular-season standings with a 3-1-2 record, and reached the finals of the ECAC South Tournament where they lost on penalty kicks. Suzie Peters and Elyse Bellardini were both All-Region picks a year ago, and are two of the three returning All-Conference performers on the Cardinals.
Scranton claimed the regular season, and Landmark postseason championships last year, and finished the year 9-9-2. The Royals will be under the direction of first-year coach Colleen Murphy and she will work with a roster that returns its top three goal scorers from last season including the Landmark Rookie of the Year Chelsea Paskman. The team will need to replace nine seniors, including four All-Conference players.
Juniata loses three seniors from the 2007 unit which went 2-2-2 in Landmark play and earned a conference postseason and ECAC postseason berth. The Eagles were 9-6-3 overall and return All-Conference performers Sarah Ruggiero and Laura Goodlander as well as every player who scored a goal for the 2007 team. The squad will need to replace a three-year starter in goal, as well as one starting defender.
Drew University claimed 32 points to earn fifth place in the poll after a young Rangers team narrowly missed claiming the last Landmark postseason spot with a 2-3-1 conference record last year. The team was 5-8-5 overall and the entire lineup should return, including two All-Conference picks led by Alyssa Goodman who led the team in goals and points.
With 20 points in the balloting, Susquehanna University sits in sixth place. The Crusaders bring back a trio of All-Conference performers, led by first-team defender Kelly Davitt, from a squad that posted a 6-10-1 overall record and a 1-4-1 Landmark record. The Crusaders will have to find replacements for three departed seniors, all of whom were starters.
Goucher College rounds out the polling with 11 points in the voting. With a small roster, Goucher battled to a 3-12 record in 2007 and was unable to pick-up a win in Landmark play. The Gophers lose three seniors to graduation, including an All-Conference player, but the team does bring back five of their goal scorers from last season, along with their starting goalkeeper Kellen Matthews who led the Landmark in saves.
Goucher will kick-off the season with a non-conference game on August 29, while the Landmark schedule will begin with a trio of games on September 27.