Denison Tabbed First in 2018 NCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

Denison topped the 2018 NCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll with 71 points and one first-place vote.
Denison topped the 2018 NCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll with 71 points and one first-place vote.

2018 NCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) announced its 2018 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll on Monday, Aug. 20. Denison topped the charts with 71 total points including one first-place vote, while defending NCAC Women's Soccer Tournament Champion, Wittenberg, tallied four first-place votes and 70 points for the second spot in the rankings.

Only three points separated the top-three teams in the poll, as Kenyon took third with 68 points and three first-place votes. The Ladies produced an undefeated conference mark in 2017 (7-0-1) before falling to Wittenberg, 1-0, in the NCAC Title match a season ago. Wooster claimed the final first-place vote and took fourth with 51 points. Allegheny rounded out the top five with 43 points, while DePauw (41), Ohio Wesleyan (28), Oberlin (23) and Hiram (10) completed the nine-team field.

Denison will enter competition this fall under the guidance of longtime head coach, Gail Murphy. In 21 seasons at the helm of the Big Red women's soccer program, Murphy has posted a record of 279-109-38 (.700), including seven NCAC Championships and 14 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Denison returns last season's leading goal scorer in the form of Maggie Armstrong, a three-time All-NCAC selection who begins her senior season having scored 19 goals overall for the Big Red. Also returning is sophomore Kelly O'Neal who received an NCAC first-team nod on defense in her freshman campaign.

The 2018 NCAC women's soccer season begins Friday, Aug. 31, with eight conference teams taking on non-conference opponents. Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster open up at home while Allegheny, Denison, Hiram, Oberlin and Wittenberg begin on the road.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

 

2018 North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1.

Denison (1)

71

2.

Wittenberg (4) 

70

3.

Kenyon (3)

68

4.

Wooster (1)

51

5. 

Allegheny

43

6.

DePauw

41

7.

Ohio Wesleyan

28

8.

Oberlin

23

9.

Hiram

10