FREELAND, Mich. – The 2017 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's soccer season is a wide-open race, the nine member school coaches voted in their preseason coaches poll.
With four first-place votes, defending MIAA Tournament and 2016 co-MIAA regular season champions Hope edged the field to earn the preseason nod. The remaining five first-place votes spread over four teams, with just nine points separating teams two through four and 13 points between second-place Albion and fifth-place holders Alma and Adrian.
Albion ranked second in the preseason poll with 49 points and one first-place vote, followed by Calvin for third with 46 points and one first-place vote. Kalamazoo, the 2016 co-champs with Hope, garnered two first-place votes and ranked fourth overall with 40 points.
Tied for fifth were Alma and Adrian with 36 points apiece, with Trine rounded up the final first-place vote to rank seventh overall with 29 points. Olivet (23) and Saint Mary's (11) wrapped up the poll.
Hope (15-4-2, 12-2-2 in 2016) represented the MIAA at the NCAA Championships last year. Among the Flying Ducth's returnees are 2016 first-team All-MIAA selection Erin Brophy (Sr., F, West Lafayette, Ind.), who was second for Hope last year in points with 28 on 11 goals and six assists.
Albion (10-6-2, 9-6-1) will be led by two second-team All-MIAA picks Jenna Urso (Sr., F/M, South Lyon, Mich.) and Emily Wolford (So., M, Berkley, Mich.) after the Britons just missed making the four-team MIAA tournament field last year.
Calvin (11-9-1, 10-5-1) was bumped in the semifinals of last fall's MIAA Tournament. The Knights feature Kali Mouw (Jr., M/F, Avon, N.Y.), a second-team All-MIAA selection in 2016.
Kalamazoo (13-4-3, 12-2-2) had a standout season defensively in 2016, as measured by a 0.92 team goals-against average and a six-game shutout streak during league play. First-team All-MIAA selection Christina Dandar (Sr., D, Harrison Twp., Mich.) will again assist the defense this fall.
The 2017 MIAA women's soccer season kicks off Friday, Sept. 1 with all nine teams taking the field for non-conference competition. MIAA play starts Wednesday, Sept. 6, including an early matchup against preseason favorite Hope at second-ranked Albion for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
First Place Votes
|9.||Saint Mary's||11 points|