Lynchburg Headlines ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Lynchburg Headlines ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Marlins Sit Second, Generals and Eagles Tight for Third

FOREST, Va. --- Lynchburg College picked up 10 first place votes and 142 total points on the way to headlining the 2013 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.  Virginia Wesleyan College holds down second position with 127 markers.  Washington and Lee University corralled a pair of top nods towards 118 tallies, which is just one point clear of Bridgewater College.  The Eagles picked up the remaining first place vote in the annual coaches' survey.

Lynchburg won its third straight ODAC title and fifth in the last five years with a 2-0 victory over Bridgewater at Shellenberger Field.  The Hornets' 11th overall conference crown earned them an automatic trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament, where they were joined by Virginia Wesleyan.  The Marlins surrendered a 78th minute goal in their first round contest, which resulted in a 1-0 loss to Rowan University at Johns Hopkins University.  Lynchburg's stay would last three games.  LC played host to first and second round contests, topping Frostburg State University, 1-0, before dispatching Montclair State University, 2-0, in round two.  Lynchburg squared off with Johns Hopkins at Messiah College in the third round and fell to the Blue Jays, 3-1.

The Hornets (21-1-3 overall, 9-0-3 ODAC) are ranked ninth in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCCA Division III Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll and welcome back five all-conference players from the 2012 campaign, including two first teamers. Junior forward Dessi Dupuy notched 60 points on an ODAC-best 27 goals and six assists. Senior defender Rachel Sadowski (5g) was also tabbed to the first team after marshalling a backline that registered a 0.46 goals against average. Second team senior forward Angela Bosco recorded a league-best 61 points on 22 goals and 17 assists, another top conference mark. Sophomore forward Morgan Singer (12g, 2a) and junior midfielder Dana Nelson (3g, 4a) return after collecting third team recognition a year ago.  The Hornets also welcome back former first team (2010) midfielder and senior Jessie Gonzalez, who missed much of last season due to injury.

Virginia Wesleyan (18-2-1, 11-0-1) is ranked 25th in the NSCAA survey and returns four all-conference players to Virginia Beach for the 2013 season. Senior midfielder Nicole Martinez (1a) earned first team honors as did classmate Erica Keil. The Marlins' goalkeeper notched a conference-best .816 save percentage and was second in goals-against-average (0.52). Sophomore midfielder Kerry Knauss garnered second team honors and was named the 2012 ODAC Rookie of the Year after recording four goals and one assist. Senior defender Angel Horowitz (2g) is also back after collecting All-ODAC second team honors.

Washington and Lee (14-3-1, 10-1-1) enjoys the return of three all conference players, including juniors Katherine Rush and Katie Rossi from the first team. Rush, a forward, led the Generals with 32 points on 14 goals (fourth in the league) and four assists, while Rossi, a midfielder, posted 16 points on five goals and six assists. Senior defender Alexis Blight was tabbed to the second team after recording five goals.  Junior midfielder Holley Beasley, the 2011 ODAC Rookie of the Year, also returns after missing eight games last season due to injury.

Bridgewater (12-7-2, 8-3-1) mentor Mike Van Horn, the 2012 ODAC Coach of the Year, welcomes back a wealth of talent including four all-conference players. Junior defender Elizabeth Stump (1a) garnered first team recognition as a member of the Eagles‘ defense that recorded a 1.14 GAA. Senior forward Melanie Waters led the Eagles offense with 27 points on 11 goals and five assists on the way to earning second team laurels. Junior midfielder Anna Theisen (2g, 3a) collected All-ODAC second team honors, while sophomore defender Ashley Crossman was tabbed to the third team after tallying three markers.

Roanoke (10-6-3, 8-3-1) graduated its top four scorers from a season ago, but the Maroons have experience returning on a solid backline. Senior defender Maya Kantor earned second team accolades after dishing out two assists, while junior goalkeeper Carolyn Sarbacher (1.12 gaa, 63 saves) collected third team honors.  Senior Kara Kapell (1g) will lead the Maroons' midfield.

Shenandoah (9-11-1, 6-5-1) returns its top point scorer to Winchester this fall. Sophomore midfielder Danielle Burris led the Hornets with 22 points on eight goals and six assists. Senior defender Brittany Butcher (3g, 1a) helped SU post a 1.77 GAA. Sophomore goalkeeper Nichole Pratt (1.82 gaa) also returns in the net after stopping 68 shots last season.

Randolph-Macon (8-9, 7-5) has to retool in 2013 after losing four all conference players to graduation last season, but the Yellow Jackets have plenty of experience returning. Sophomore forward Megan O’Neal registered 13 points on five goals and three assists, while sophomore midfielder Lindsey Hall is back after tallying two goals and six assists. Junior Jen Labarge (2a) returns as a key member of R-MC’s defensive unit.

Guilford (4-15, 3-9), Emory & Henry (6-11, 5-7) and Randolph (9-8, 4-8) are all looking to continue their strides towards an ODAC postseason berth. The Quakers are under new leadership in 2013 as head coach Mike Shenigo welcomes back their leading scorer in Kelli Uresti, who tallied 22 points on nine goals and four assists as a freshman. Senior Caroline Bishop (1a) also returns as a member of GC’s defense. The Wasps return three key players to Emory this fall including sophomore defender/midfielder Emily Belanger (5g), sophomore midfielder/forward Erica Merriman (4g, 1a) and senior midfielder Ashlie Caldwell (4g, 1a). The WildCats welcome back a potent offense with three key players. Junior forward Brittany Hammons led Randolph with 23 points on nine goals and five assists, while senior midfielder Marielle Rando tallied 14 points on five goals and four assists. Sophomore midfielder Ally Ramos collected five markers and dished out one helper.

Eastern Mennonite (3-13-1, 0-11-1), Hollins (4-13, 2-10) and Sweet Briar (0-13-1, 0-11-1) also look to continue their upward trends in the conference rankings. EMU welcomes back junior midfielder Nora Osei, who tallied team-highs in points (18) and goals (8). Sophomores Morgan Hill (1g, 6a) and Elisa Ott (4g) will also contribute up top. HU will look to its senior leadership in Becca Logan (12g, 2a) and Morgan Wood (7g) to lead the offense. Junior midfielder Maran O’Neill is also back after posting 16 points on six goals and four assists. The Vixens welcome back key components including junior midfielder Marissa McCord (1g) and sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Tillson. Tillson started every game for SBC in 2012 and recorded 140 saves, the second-most in the conference.

The 2013 women's soccer season begins on Friday, August 30, with ODAC schools in action against non-conference opponents.  For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes first place votes

1. Lynchburg (10) 142 pts.
2. Virginia Wesleyan 127 pts.
3. Washington and Lee (2) 118 pts.
4. Bridgewater (1) 117 pts.
5. Roanoke 104 pts.
6. Shenandoah 88 pts.
7. Randolph-Macon 79 pts.
8. Guilford 62 pts.
9. Emory & Henry 57 pts.
10. Randolph 48 pts.
11. Eastern Mennonite 33 pts.
12. Hollins 24 pts.
13. Sweet Briar 15 pts.