FREELAND, Mich. – In a preseason poll of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's soccer head coaches, Hope is predicted to successfully defend their MIAA title in 2018. The Flying Dutch received seven of a possible eight first-place votes to lead the preseason poll.
The preseason poll for MIAA women's soccer awards eight points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, et cetera. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own programs.
Following Hope's 63 points was Adrian's 54 points for second place, include a first-place vote. Kalamazoo gathered the final first-place vote to finish third in the poll with 48 points. Calvin (40 points) edged Albion (38 points) for fourth place, while Olivet (27 points) ranked slightly ahead of Alma (25 points) for sixth place. Trine (21 points) and Saint Mary's (8 points) rounded out the poll.
Hope (19-3-1, 14-1-1in MIAA in 2017) advanced to the NCAA Second Round last fall, and the Flying Dutch features three All-MIAA selections from last year, including first-team honoree Grace Bubin (Sr., F, Rockford, Mich.) and second-team pick Rylie Dalton (Sr., M, Rockford, Mich.). Heading the Hope defense will be second-team All-MIAA goalkeeper Jordanne Ellingboe (So., GK, Grand Haven, Mich.).
Adrian (13-5-3, 10-4-2) was bounced from the 2017 MIAA Tournament in the semifinals on penalty kicks, and the Bulldogs will aim to again advance to the postseason this season. Among Adrian's returnees are first-team All-MIAA selections Caroline Fleming (Jr., F, Grosse Ile, Mich.) and Rachel Rodeheffer (Jr., D, Commerce Twp., Mich.) along with second-team All-MIAA defender Ayverie Giller (Jr., GK, Grand Ledge, Mich.).
Kalamazoo (11-8-1, 10-5-1) features second-team All-MIAA defender and third-team All-Region selection Sarah George (Sr., M/D, Royal Oak, Mich.), who will bring leadership to the Hornets in 2018.
Calvin (12-9-0, 9-7-0) will look to first-team All-MIAA honoree Kali Mouw (Sr., D, Avon, N.Y.) for leadership on the defense this fall, while second-team All-MIAA pick Abby Koops (So., M, Holland, Mich.) will aid in the Knights' offense.
Olivet (13-7-1, 11-5-0) returns first-team All-MIAA selection Emma Essen (Sr., F, Blissfield, Mich.) in 2018, after the Comets advanced to the MIAA Tournament championship game last fall.
The 2018 MIAA women's soccer season will see its first touch Friday, Aug. 31 with four teams in action, including Calvin and Kalamazoo at home. The MIAA single-rotation schedule, a change from the previous double-round robin setup in previous seasons, begins Sept. 26; on that date, preseason favorite Hope will travel to Kalamazoo for a 7 p.m. contest. The 2018 MIAA Women's Soccer Tournament, which now features a six-team bracket, begins with first-round action Oct. 27 with the title game slated for Saturday, Nov. 3 at the highest remaining seed.
|9.||Saint Mary's||8 points|