LEC Women’s Soccer Poll released

LEC Women’s Soccer Poll released

Keene State earns top billing; PSU seventh

            NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – In a close ballot that saw three teams receive multiple first-place votes, defending Little East Champion Keene State earned top billing from the league's head coaches in the 2014 Little East Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.

            The Owls claimed the top spot for the first time since 2010, with 53 points and four first place votes, and own the top spot exclusively for the first time since 2005. Receiving two top votes apiece were 2013 regular season champions UMass Boston, which took the second overall spot in the poll with 49 points. Close behind in third was Eastern Connecticut with a 46-point total.

            Keene State head coach and 2014 Little East Coach of the Year Denise Lyons is set to begin her 22nd season at the helm for the Owls, and fields a deep lineup consisting of 18 returners and seven returning starters. Last season saw an 18-5-1 campaign for the Owls, including a 7-1-0 conference mark and a 1-0 victory over Eastern Connecticut in the 2013 Little East Championship match. Keene State advanced as the league's automatic selection to the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated Haverford 2-0 in the first round before falling to Williams 3-0. Top returners for the Owls include junior Jen Wilson, named the Most Outstanding Player in last year's conference tournament, and senior goalkeeper Victoria Crenson, who sat second in the league last season with a goals against average of 0.91 and topped all Little East keepers with 10 shutouts.

            Sitting second in the poll is UMass Boston, looking to follow up on last season's regular season championship with a 6-1-0 conference record and improve upon a 15-5-0 overall slate. Under head coach Amy Zombeck, the Beacons will pursue their second Little East tournament title in three years, and return two-time defending Little East Offensive Player of the Year Krista Ledin for her senior season.  Ledin

paced the league with 68 point last season, and is on track to record her 200th career point in 2014.

            Eastern Connecticut will enter its 14th season under head coach Chris D'Ambrosio, and hope to make a return trip to the Little East title game after reaching the match as the No. 5 seed last year. In 2013, the Warriors went 10-9-1 and 3-4-0 in league play and return seven starters from that squad, including four impact seniors in goalkeeper Rachel Skelton, midfielders Taylor Shannon and Rachael Skinner and defender Whitney Mantel.

            Completing the coaches' predicted order of finish in the poll were Western Connecticut (39 points), UMass Dartmouth (31), Southern Maine (25), Plymouth State (22) and Rhode Island College (15).

            Conference play in Little East women's soccer will consist of each team meeting each other once during the regular season, with conference play set to begin on September 20. The top six teams in the final regular season conference standings will participate in the 2014 Little East Women's Soccer Championship, with the top two seeds earning first round byes and top seeds hosting throughout. The tournament is slated to begin on November 4, with the championship match scheduled for November 8.

 

Little East Conference

2014 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

 

Team

1st Place Votes

Total Points

1. Keene State

      4

    53

2. UMass Boston

      2

    49

3. Eastern Connecticut

      2

    46

4. Western Connecticut

 

    39

5. UMass Dartmouth

 

    31

6. Southern Maine

 

    25

7. Plymouth State

 

    22

8. Rhode Island College

 

    15

 

(Courtesy of the Little East Conference)

 

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