August 26, 2015
Catawba Voted 5th, Davis First Team in SAC Preseason Polls
ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The Catawba women's soccer team was voted to finish fifth in 2015 based on the recent preseason poll announced by the South Atlantic Conference league office. Also announced was the preseason all-conference teams featuring three Catawba Lady Indians. Bethany Davis garnered first team accolades in goal while Alex Hulsey and Erin Feldman earn second team honors for midfield and defense, respectively. Davis earned All-Region honors and was selected as a Scholar All-American during the 2014 campaign.
The Lenoir-Rhyne women's soccer team has been voted the preseason favorite to win the 2015 South Atlantic Conference title. The Bears, who are currently ranked No. 12 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Preseason Poll, notched seven first-place votes and 127 points by the League's head coaches as member institutions aren't allowed to vote for their own teams.
Lenoir-Rhyne captured the 2014 South Atlantic Conference Regular-Season Championship after finishing the season 16-4-3 overall and 10-1 in SAC play. The Bears finished as the runner-up in the SAC Women's Soccer Championship and earned an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship where they advanced to the regional championship game.
Wingate claimed the 2014 South Atlantic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament Championship and finished its 2014 season at 13-3-4 overall and 9-1-1 in the League. The Bulldogs claimed the SAC automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship and picked up a win over Armstrong State in the first round. Wingate received five first-place votes and 126 points from the panel.
Lincoln Memorial placed third in the poll for the second-straight year as it garnered 103 points. The Railsplitters turned in a 9-4-3 record overall and finished at 7-2-2 in the League during the 2014 season.
Newberry landed in fourth-place with 95 points, ahead of Catawba who picked up 90 points.
The Wolves posted a 10-5-4 overall record a season ago and went 8-2-1 in SAC games. The Catawba College Catawba Indians closed out their year with an 11-6-3 mark overall and a 6-4-2 record in SAC action.
Tusculum's 89 points from the panel was good for the No. 6 slot, while Queens was close behind with 77 tallies.
The Pioneers closed out the 2014 campaign at 10-7-2 overall and 6-5 in South Atlantic Conference action, while Queens wrapped up its season with an 8-9-2 overall mark and a 5-4-2 South Atlantic Conference record.
Anderson landed in the No. 8 position with 62 points and Carson-Newman placed No. 9 in the poll with 56 points.
The Trojans posted a 7-10-1 overall record during the 2014 season and went 4-6-1 in South Atlantic Conference action. Carson-Newman went 3-14 overall and 1-10 in SAC games during the 2014 campaign.
Coker came in at No. 10 with 35 points, as Mars Hill (33 points) and Brevard (31 points) rounded out the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.
The preseason first and second teams were also announced today. Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate tied for the lead as each school placed three student-athletes on the first-team. Anderson and Carson-Newman posted a pair of players on the first-team, while Tusculum, Queens and Catawba each had a player voted to the first-team.
The first-team forwards are headlined by All-Region selection Brooke Howell from Wingate. Howell tied for third in the South Atlantic Conference a season-ago with 14 goals. She also finished the season tied for fifth in the Conference with five assists.
Anderson's Lyssa Engle, Taylor Lewis of Tusculum and Casey Marlin from Lenoir-Rhyne joined Howell on the list of first-team forwards. Engle, the 2014 South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year, pounded in 11 scores for Anderson during the 2014 season, while Lewis finished with nine goals and Marlin closed out her season with six markers.
Garcelle Alequine of Lenoir-Rhyne, a 2014 consensus All-American, highlighted the first-team at the midfield position. Alequine scored 14 goals for the Bears during the 2014 season to rank No. 2 in the South Atlantic Conference. She also dished out six assists to finish tied for second in the SAC
Kaitlyn Brunworth of Wingate, Caitlyn Rodrigues from Queens and Carson-Newman's Mikayla Gregg rounds of the first-team midfielders.
Brunworth earned All-Region honors during the 2014 season as she scored three goals to go along with three assists. Brunworth was tabbed the League's Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Rodrigues found the back of the net three times for the Royals and dished out pair of assists during the 2014 campaign. Gregg closed out her season with five scores and one assist for the Eagles in 2014.
2014 All-America selection and All-Region player Macy Franklin from Wingate top the list of first-team defenders, while Anderson's Faith Johannes, Helen Seed of Carson-Newman and Brianna Belsky of Lenoir-Rhyne each earned first-team defender honors as well. Belsky was also an All-Region selection while being tabbed tabbed an Academic All-America honoree during the 2014 season.
The 2015 South Atlantic Conference women's soccer season is set to get underway on Thursday, Sept. 3.
2015 SAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Lenoir-Rhyne (7) 127
2. Wingate (5) 126
3. Lincoln Memorial 103
4. Newberry 95
5. CATAWBA 90
6. Tusculum 89
7. Queens 77
8. Anderson 62
9. Carson-Newman 56
10. Coker 35
11. Mars Hill 33
12. Brevard 31
2015 Preseason All-Conference Teams
First Team All-Conference
F – Casey Marlin, Lenoir-Rhyne
F – Brooke Howell, Wingate
F – Lyssa Engle, Anderson
F – Taylor Lewis, Tusculum
MF – Garcelle Alequine, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Mikayla Gregg, Carson-Newman
MF – Caitlyn Rodrigues, Queens
MF – Kaitlyn Brunworth, Wingate
D – Macy Franklin, Wingate
D – Faith Johannes, Anderson
D – Brianna Belsky, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Helen Seed, Carson-Newman
GK – BETHANY DAVIS, CATAWBA
Second Team All-Conference
F – Leah Mullins, Lenoir-Rhyne
F – Michelle Hunter, Lincoln Memorial
F – Payton DeHart, Tusculum
F – Taylor Leyble, Wingate
MF – Emmi Dunn, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Gabrielle Whitt, Tusculum
MF – Naomi Matley, Wingate
MF – ALEX HULSEY, CATAWBA
D – ERIN FELDMAN, CATAWBA
D – Ashley Osiecki, Queens
D – Amber Madriaga, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Olivia Kilgore, Tusculum
GK – Alayna Morris, Lenoir-Rhyne
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