Delaware Women’s Soccer Picked No. 5 in Colonial Athletic Association Pre-Season Coaches Poll
August 6, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Pre-Season Practice Schedule
RICHMOND, Va. -- Riding the momentum from a 2011 season that saw them advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament semifinals, the University of Delaware women’s soccer team has been picked in the CAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll announced Monday by the league office.
Delaware, which began pre-season practice Sunday in preparation for the season opener Aug. 19 vs. Georgetown, earned 64 total points to place fifth out of 11 teams in the rankings.
Defending CAA champion William & Mary, which upended Delaware 2-1 in last year’s CAA semifinals, was the unanimous choice to repeat as the Tribe earned 10 first place votes and 100 points. James Madison was picked second followed by Hofstra, Northeastern, Delaware, George Mason, Drexel, Old Dominion, UNCW, Georgia State, and Towson. Northeastern picked up the other first place vote as head coaches were not allowed to pick their own team for the rankings.
Delaware head coach Scott Grzenda, who has led the Blue Hens throughout their entire existence as a varsity sport, will begin his 23rd season this fall. He welcomes back 16 letterwinners and eight starters from last year’s squad that put together a record of 10-7-4 and advanced to the CAA Tournament for the first time since the 2005 campaign.
Leading the returning starters is senior forward Ali Miller (at right), the team’s leading scorer with 14 goals a year ago who earned first team All-CAA and third team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors. Also back are a pair of third team All-CAA selections in senior midfielder Tania Domingos (three assists) and junior midfielder Chelsea Duffy (four goals). Senior defender Polly Reinicker is an Academic All-American candidate after earning second team District 2 All-Academic honors a year ago.
Among those who will need to be replaced are four-year standout and 2011 All-CAA forward Amy Pickard (10 goals) and goalkeeper Breanna Stemler (five shutouts).
The Blue Hens will practice twice a day leading up to a scrimmage Aug. 12 at George Washington. The opener - the earliest first game in school history - will be held Aug. 19 at Delaware Mini-Stadium at 1 p.m.
William & Mary, led by CAA Player of the Year Mallory Schaffer, welcomes back nine starters from last year’s 17-3-2 squad that captured its first CAA title since 1993. James Madison has 10 of its 11 starters returning while eight starters are back at Hofstra, and Northeastern welcomes the return of 17 letterwinners from last year’s CAA semifinalist squad, including 2010 CAA Player and Rookie of the Year Devin Devin Griffin.
The CAA has had six different teams capture the league title over the past six years. The conference has placed multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 15 of the past 19 seasons.
2012 Colonial Athletic Association Pre-Season Coaches Poll: 1. William & Mary - 100 points (10 first place votes); 2. James Madison - 81; 3. Hofstra - 79; 4. Northeastern - 76 (1); 5. Delaware - 64; 6. George Mason - 60; 7. Drexel - 35; 8. Old Dominion - 34; 9. UNCW - 28; 10. Georgia State - 25; 11. Towson - 23.
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