August 19, 2014

Allegheny Tabbed Women's Soccer Preseason Favorite

2014 NCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

Coming off a season in which the NCAC crowned its first-ever women’s soccer tri-champions, Allegheny narrowly emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference coaches in the 2014 preseason poll.

The Gators earned five of nine possible first-place votes cast by league coaches to top the poll with 73 total points. Allegheny is coming off its seventh conference title, first-ever NCAC Tournament championship and second NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four years. Wittenberg, coming off of a share of its second-straight conference title, earned two first-place votes and finished six points behind Allegheny in the poll with 67 points. Denison, which was the final piece of the 2013 tri-champions, claimed the final two first-place votes and finished third with 66 points. DePauw and Wooster shared the fourth position with 50 points each to round out the top-five. Kenyon was predicted to finish sixth with 39 points and Ohio Wesleyan checked in at seventh with 29 points.  Hiram totaled 21 points to finish eighth in the poll, followed by Oberlin in ninth with 10 total points.

Allegheny will once again enter competition this fall under the direction of head coach Michael Webber. In nine seasons at the helm of the Gators women’s soccer program, Webber has posted a record of 90-56-21 (.602), including two NCAC championships, an NCAC tournament championship and two appearances in the NCAA Div. III Tournament. The Gators return three of their top five scorers from a year ago, led by 2013 NCAC Newcomer of the Year Jessie Thiessen (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel). Thiessen led the league in goals (11), points (28) and points per game (1.33) in her rookie campaign. Allegheny also welcomes back All-Conference junior defender Lauren Miller (Harrison City, PA/Penn-Trafford) and senior netminder Gabby Curtis (Stony Point, NY/North Rockland) to bolster the defensive unit that lead the league with 10 shutouts last season.

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.

2014 North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1. Allegheny (5) 73
2.
Wittenberg (2) 67
3.
Denison (2) 66
4.
DePauw 50
   
Wooster 50
6.
Kenyon 39
7.
Ohio Wesleyan 29
8.
Hiram 21
9.
Oberlin 10