Women's Soccer 8th in Preseason Poll

(c) David Morgan/Stylish Images
(c) David Morgan/Stylish Images

CC Preseason Poll

CC Preseason Guide

LANCASTER, Pa. - The Ursinus women's soccer team came in 8th in the Centennial Conference preseason poll.

The Bears are looking to return to the playoffs after missing them for the first time in three seasons. They finished the year 6-9-1 overall, with a 3-6 record in conference play.

Johns Hopkins earned to top spot in the poll, garnering eight of the 11 first-place votes. McDaniel nabbed the other three and landed in second.

Following the departure of three All-Conference players (Jeannie Jasinski, Erin Farrell and Courtney Sullivan), first-year head coach Aileen Ascolese will have to put more responsibility on players who hadn't had as much last season.

The back line of Anna Budny and Phoebe Shoap should anchor the Bears' defense, as the two seniors boast plenty of playing time over the last few seasons. Their veteran leadership should provide the necessary boost of confidence for the players in front of them. Shoap could also step up again and chip in on the offensive side. She scored four goals last season – the most among returning players – on 15 total shots. Budny was an all-conference selection last season (honorable mention), the Bears' lone returning all-league selction.

Stephanie DeAngelo shifts between defense and the midfield, something the senior is used to doing. She started 11 of the 15 games she appeared in last season, scoring a goal on just two shots. With significant playing time in each of her last two seasons, DeAngelo is used to being in the middle of the action.

Joining the trio of veterans on the defense is freshman Zoe Tesone. A three-sport athlete at Princeton High School, Tesone brings the athleticism that will help her make the transition to seeing immediate playing time.

Katie Bell and Kendall Couch – another set of seniors – are the two midfield stalwarts the Bears will lean on in 2017. They each split four goals in their junior seasons, including a game-winner from Bell in a 1-0 victory over Haverford. 

Cailey Sanchez returns after a freshman campaign in which the Bethlehem native scored a pair of goals on her only two shots. The midfielder could fill the void left by Jasinski, a second team all-conference selection who tallied three goals in 2016. Caitlin O'Neill could follow in the footsteps of Sanchez, as the freshman should see action in the Bears' midfield early in the season, and senior Danielle Kuller made 11 appearances with one goal a year ago.  

Mackenzie Groff will be back up top, looking to put the ball in the back of the net after scoring twice last year while assisting on a pair of other scores. The junior netted five goals in 2015 – her freshman year – scoring a goal in four of her first five collegiate matches.

With plenty of veteran experience on the pitch, that just leaves the area between the pipes.

Senior Marisa Kalkstein has started one game throughout career with the Bears, while appearing in seven total matches. She's carried a 2.40 goals against rating in that time. Freshmen Sabrina Doherty and Sarah Embley will look to vie for time as well. Doherty garnered all-county and second team all-state honors at Arundel High School (Odenton, Md.).

The Bears kick off the 2017 season with a home match against Misericordia at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1. Their first conference match comes Sept. 16 against McDaniel.

2017 CC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Team

2016 Record 

Points (1st)

1-Johns Hopkins

17-3-2, 8-1

98 (8)

2-McDaniel

18-3-1, 8-0-1

88 (3)

3-Swarthmore

15-4, 7-2

83

4-Gettysburg

8-8-2, 4-4-1

70

5-Haverford

10-4-4, 4-3-2

68

6-Muhlenberg

6-7-3, 2-4-3

50

7-Dickinson

7-6-4, 2-5-2

47

8-Ursinus

6-9-1, 3-6

40

9-Franklin & Marshall

7-9-1, 2-6-1

32

10-Washington College

5-10-1, 0-9

19

11-Bryn Mawr

2-6-1

10