RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 6, 2013 – The James Madison women’s soccer team has been selected to finish fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
The Dukes are coming off a season that saw them go 7-11-0 overall and seventh in the CAA with a record of 5-5-0. Defending conference champion Hofstra was picked to finish first, narrowly edging out defending regular season champion William & Mary. The Pride received six of the nine first-place votes and 61 total points. The Tribe 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 JMU (39 points), Drexel (37 points) and Northeastern (36 points). Rounding out the poll were Delaware (29), CAA newcomer the College of Charleston (12) and Towson (11).
JMU returns seven players that started at least eight games last season, including their top two goal scorers in senior forward and two-time All-CAA selection Lauren Wilson (Coatesville, Pa./Downington) as well as junior forward Katie Hyland (Islip, N.y./Islip). Also back is two-time All-CAA defender Becky Sparks (Laurel Springs, N.J./Paul VI).
Wilson led the squad with eight goals and two assists for 18 points with Hyland adding four goals and three assists for 11 points. Sparks finished tied for third on the team with one goal and three assists for five points.
All three goalkeepers that saw action for Madison last season return led by junior Marlee Stynchula (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson) and redshirt junior Kate Courter (Lincoln Park, N.J./Immaculate Heart). Stynchula appeared in nine games, starting six and had a team-best 0.80 goals against average. She made 31 saves and had a 4-2 record. Courter started eight games and had a 1.16 goals against average. Redshirt sophomore Ellen Forrest (Midlothian, Va./James River) started four games, making 16 saves in 315 minutes played.
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 XX starters returning, including third-team All-CAA performers Maddie McCormick (8g, 3a) and Stephanie Bronson (5g, 3a) along with All-Rookie defender Lindsey Byrne.
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.)
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