WAUKESHA, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University women's soccer team was picked to finish second and earned one first-place vote in the Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the conference office, today, August 29. Defending regular season and tournament champion, Aurora, was tabbed to repeat with 11 first-place votes.
Head Coach Jason Murphy enters his third year at the helm. He returns 16 letterwinners, including eight starters on a squad that reached the NAC Tournament final for the first time in school history back in 2011. Last season, the Sabres tied a school-record for most wins with 13 and recorded double-digit conference victories for the first time ever.
Aurora tallied 11-of-13 first-place votes and 166 total points, 23 points ahead of Marian, which came in second with one first-place vote and 143 total points. Edgewood was picked third with 137 points, while Dominican came in fourth with 130 points followed by Concordia Wisconsin (126), which grabbed the final first-place vote and MSOE (116) to round out the top-six teams.
In seventh was Benedictine (84) followed by Concordia Chicago (82), Lakeland (55), Alverno (52), Wisconsin Lutheran (50), Maranatha (27) and Rockford (15).
The league's six-team conference tournament will take place Oct. 27-Nov. 3, with the tournament champion receiving the NAC's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA III Championship Tournament.
2012 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Aurora (11), 166
2. Marian (1), 143
3. Edgewood, 137
4. Dominican, 130
5. Concordia Wisconsin (1), 126
6. MSOE, 116
7. Benedictine, 84
8. Concordia Chicago, 82
9. Lakeland, 55
10. Alverno, 52
11. Wisconsin Lutheran, 50
12. Maranatha, 27
13. Rockford, 15
first-place votes in parentheses
voted by the conference's head coaches
13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used