Women's Soccer Picked First In Preseason Poll
BOSTON - The University at Albany women’s soccer program has been selected first in the preseason America East coaches’ poll, the conference announced Monday.
“We have a lot of respect for our America East rivals, and we’re honored to have been selected atop the preseason poll,” said head coach Nick Bochette. “That being said, however, we know that every conference opponent will pose a big challenge and we know that every victory starts from scratch. With such a tight dispersion of points, especially within the top five teams in this poll, it’s clear that everyone expects a competitive and exciting season. For the time being, we remain focused internally on our own growth and development, but very much look forward to the America East season starting.”
The Great Danes won their third America East title in four years in 2018, defeating UMass Lowell 5-1 in the title game at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. UAlbany won a program-best 14 games last season, including recording five consecutive shutout victories leading up to the America East championship game.
UAlbany earned the three-seed in the conference tournament last season, ending the regular season on a three-game winning streak while outscoring opponents 8-0. After defeating six-seed New Hampshire in the quarterfinals, the Great Danes took down two-seed Hartford on the road in the semifinals before knocking off four-seed UMass Lowell in the final at home. The Danes next drew the University of South Florida, the nation’s highest-scoring team, in the NCAA Tournament, falling to the Bulls 5-1.
From last year’s team, which saw the departure of career and single-season program goals and points leader Mariah Williams, and career and single-season program assists leader Caroline Kopp, the Great Danes return eight of 11 starters and 20 letter-winners, while adding 10 new recruits. Among the returners are 2018 Rookie of the Year Jada Colbert and America East First Team selection Meghan Cavanaugh.
UAlbany received four first-place votes and accumulated a total of 57 points, narrowly exceeding second-place Hartford, who received two first-place votes and 54 points. Stony Brook, picked third, also received two first-place votes, but fell narrowly behind Hartford with 49 total points. UMass Lowell drew 45 points in fourth place, while New Hampshire drew 40 points and received the lone remaining first-place vote.
Vermont (26 points), Binghamton (24 points), Maine (21 points), and UMBC (8 points), rounded out the preseason coaches’ poll.
The Great Danes open the season on August 22 with a trip to Oklahoma. The home opener is scheduled for September 1 against Central Connecticut State.
2018 America East Preseason Coaches' Poll
|3.||Stony Brook||49 (2)|
|5.||New Hampshire||40 (1)|