Lynchburg Headlines ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Lynchburg Headlines ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

LC Earns Maximum Points from Conference Coaches

FOREST, Va. --- Reigning NCAA Division III champion Lynchburg College collected 11 first place votes towards 121 total points to lead the 2015 ODAC Womens' Soccer Preseason Poll. Washington and Lee University sits second with 109 tallies, while Bridgewater College and Virginia Wesleyan College tied for third with 96 points. The Marlins secured the remaining top nod.

Competition drove all teams in the ODAC ranks in 2014, but it proved a dream campaign for Lynchburg. The Hornets, rated #1 in the 2015 NSCAA Division III Preseason Poll, not only went unscathed in 12 ODAC contests, but won a conference-record 27 overall games against just one tie.  It started with the program's 13th league crown via a 1-0 win over Washington and Lee in the conference title game.  The championship victory broke a tie with Randolph-Macon College for most titles in ODAC women's soccer history.

Lynchburg turned the ODAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament into the school's first team national championship by winning five games and advancing once on penalty kicks. It started with 4-0 and 4-1 home triumphs over Salem College and Stevenson University in the first and second rounds.  Then LC hit the road to defeat Monclair State University, 2-0, and advance past host Messiah College on penalty kicks following a 1-1 showdown in regulation and overtime play.

The travel continued for Lynchburg with a trip to Kansas City for the national semifinals and finals. LC topped Illinois Wesleyan University, 2-1, to setup a championship showdown with Williams College. The two squads competed thru 120 minutes without a goal, leading to penalty kicks.  The Hornets won the shootout, 4-3, to hoist the walnut and bronze.

No matter where you choose to watch games, top talent will be on display on ODAC fields in 2015. Twenty-seven All-ODAC honorees return, including eight first teamers.  Three from the top team wear W&L colors as forward Tricia Jessee, defender Ashley Hogan and goalkeeper Addie Healy head back to Lexington. Winger Jade Woll and defender Emily Maxwell -- the reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year -- return to Lynchburg.  Bridgewater features hot-scoring forward Julia Baca, while Roanoke College welcomes back midfielder Nathalie Torres. Virginia Wesleyan defender Allie Ketzler rounds out the first team returners.

The 2015 season begins with non-conference play on Tuesday, September 1.  The first set of ODAC contests are slated for Friday, September 18.   If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio and statistical links.

Listed below is the complete 2015 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC women's soccer programs.  For more information on ODAC women's soccer, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, 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 College (11) 121 pts.
2. Washington and Lee University 109 pts.
3. Bridgewater College 96 pts.
3. Virginia Wesleyan College (1) 96 pts.
5. Roanoke College 76 pts.
6. Randolph-Macon College 70 pts.
7. Shenandoah University 69 pts.
8. Emory & Henry College 46 pts.
9. Eastern Mennonite University 40 pts.
10. Randolph College 30 pts.
11. Guilford College 28 pts.
12. Hollins University 11 pts.

2015 Poll Position: T-3rd
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 16-4-0/10-2-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Lost in Quarters (SU, 4-0)
Head Coach: Mike Van Horn
Overall Record/Yrs: 80-50-7 (.609)/7
Record at BC/Yrs: 80-50-7 (.609)/7
ODAC Record/Yrs: 52-26-2 (.663)/7
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Julia Baca (F)
  Second Team: Ashley Crossman (D), Keri Rager (F), Michelle Viegas (M)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 43 - Julia Baca
  Goals: 19 - Julia Baca
  Assists: 12 - Michelle Viegas
  Saves: 14 - Hayley Talbott
Eagles' Outlook: Bridgewater is in search of the program's first ODAC title and with the talent head coach Mike Van Horn features, 2015 could be there. Six starters and four All-ODAC honorees are back in the fold, led by first and second team forwards Julia Baca and Keri Rager. Michelle Viegas, a second team choice last year, and Nikole Blackwell give BC two very experienced midfielders.  Three-fourths of the backline are intact in centerback Katherine Wright and fullbacks Alycia Giaugue and Ashley Crossman, the latter a second teamer in 2014.  While last season's #1 keeper has moved on, Hayley Talbott and Taylor Riley have each started games. The roster will be further bolstered by six newcomers.
  2015 Poll Position: 10th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 5-12-0/2-10-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: N/A
Head Coach: Kevin Porterfield
Overall Record/Yrs: 71-149-5 (.327)/13
Record at RAND/Yrs: 71-149-5 (.327)/13
ODAC Record/Yrs: 28-115-3 (.202)/13
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 9 - Erin McClelland
  Goals: 4 - Erin McClelland
  Assists: 3 - Ally Ramos/Austin Wampler
  Saves: 105 - Quinn-Lynn Bates
WildCats' Outlook: Randolph has the task of replacing Brittany Hammons, who led the WildCats in scoring each of the past six years. To do just that, Randolph returns seven players that started double figure contests, including goalkeeper Quinn-Lynn Bates. Erin McClelland is the top returning scorer. Head coach Kevin Porterfield benefits from an experienced midfield as Alissa Gembach, Maggie Croft, Leah Hughes and Ally Ramos started all 17 games in 2014. The WildCats also feature seven first-year players that will be expected to contribute immediately.
2015 Poll Position: 9th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 6-12-1/4-8-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #8/Lost in Quarters (LC, 11-0)
Head Coach: Ted Erickson
Overall Record/Yrs: 6-12-1 (.342)/1
Record at EMU/Yrs: 6-12-1 (.342)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 4-8-0 (.333)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Hannah Walker (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 13 - Morgan Hill
  Goals: 4 - Sierra Martin
  Assists: 7 - Morgan Hill
  Saves: 63 - Becca Borg
Royals' Outlook: Ted Erickson is excited as he enters his second season guiding the Royals. His roster will undoubtedly be young with just four upperclassmen and eight newcomers on the roster, but EMU is heavy on starting experience. The defense features third teamer Hannah Walker and sophomore teammate Sierra Martin. Keepers Becca Borg and Brianna Stanard will push each other for the starting job.  Morgan Hill and Elisa Ott have played in each game over their first three seasons, with Hill returning as the leading scorer.  Having made the tournament in year one under Erickson, the future is bright for EMU.
  2015 Poll Position: 6th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 9-8-1/6-6-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #7/Lost in Quarters (W&L, 3-0)
Head Coach: Jay Howell
Overall Record/Yrs: 9-8-1 (.528)/1
Record at RMC/Yrs: 9-8-1 (.528)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 6-6-0 (.500)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Erin Dziedzina (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 13 - Bridget Panas
  Goals: 5 - Bridget Panas
  Assists: 3 - Kasey Martino/Meghan O'Neal/Bridget Panas
  Saves: 34 - Elizabeth Blanco
Yellow Jackets' Outlook: Second-year head coach Jay Howell is armed with a strong set of returning players to pair with his first full recruiting class.  Erin Dziedzina earned third team honors in 2014, and she's joined in back by fellow 18-game starter Caroline Hollandsworth. Olivia Thorn and Morgan Gray also return on the defensive side of the ball.  Bridget Panas led R-MC in both points and goals scored, while tying with midfielder Kasey Martino and forward Meghan O'Neal in assists.  Elizabeth Blanco is back to guard the Yellow Jackets' net after starting 15 games. Another year under Howell could me a few more rungs climbed up the ODAC ladder.
2015 Poll Position: 8th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 4-13-0/3-9-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: N/A
Head Coach: Linda Schirmeister-Gess
Overall Record/Yrs: 14-36-2 (.288)/3
Record at E&H/Yrs: 14-36-2 (.288)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 12-22-2 (.361)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 12 - Emily Belanger
  Goals: 5 - Emily Belanger
  Assists: 2 - Christina Ameen/Emily Belanger
  Saves: 61 - Kayla Wright
Wasps' Outlook: Year four under head coach Linda Schirmeister-Gess will feature a very young Wasps squad with most players as underclassmen. Seven first-year players will mesh with several experience athletes, including leading returning scorer Emily Belanger. Defenders Marla Byrd and Willow Hubbard started all 17 games in 2014, while Baylee Dozark, Madison Vaughn and April Yopp combined to start 41 contests as freshman. Goalkeeper Kayla Wright brings further experience to the defense despite her youth as she started eight games in her rookie campaign.
  2015 Poll Position: 5th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 11-7-1/7-4-1
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Lost in Quarters (VWC, 2-0)
Head Coach: Phil Benne
Overall Record/Yrs: 298-171-37 (.625)/26
Record at RC/Yrs: 298-171-37 (.625)/26
ODAC Record/Yrs: 178-64-17 (.720)/26
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Nathalie Torres (M)
  Second Team: Marlana Barnard (F), Laura Sullivan (D)
  Third Team: Ashley Barnes (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 20 - Marlana Barnard
  Goals: 9 - Marlana Barnard
  Assists: 4 - Abbe Guarino/Taylor Sayegh
  Saves: 22 - Sarah Dvorak
Maroons' Outlook: Roanoke split its first eight games of 2014 before going unbeaten in eight of their final 10 regular season contests, a string which included seven wins. Head coach Phil Benne will undoubtedly be looking for a faster start as he has 300 career wins in his sites with a very experienced squad. Four All-ODAC honorees are back, led by first team midfielder Nathalie Torres. Forward Marlana Barnard and midfielder Ashley Barnes, second and third team choices last season, were the top two scorers for the Maroons. Second team defender Laura Sullivan leads the back-third along with goalkeeper Sarah Dvorak. SierraLynn Johnson and Abbe Guarino add to the Maroons attack.
2015 Poll Position: 11th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 2-16-1/2-10-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: N/A
Head Coach: Mike Shenigo
Overall Record/Yrs: 3-34-1 (.092)/2
Record at GC/Yrs: 3-34-1 (.092)/2
ODAC Record/Yrs: 3-21-0 (.125)/2
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Becca Valchar (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 7 - Morgan Henderson
  Goals: 3 - Morgan Henderson
  Assists: 3 - Kelli Uresti
  Saves: 24 - Becca Banks
Quakers' Outlook: Head coach Mike Shenigo opens his third year in Greensboro with a young squad as the Quakers look to retool in 2015. Defender Becca Valchar earned All-ODAC Third Team honors. She and Emily Vaughn started each game in back in 2014. Morgan Henderson is the leading scoring back for GC, but she'll have plenty of help from veteran Kelli Uresti. The midfield features returning starter Madalyn Carpenter.  Becca Banks earned five starts in goal as a freshman. She enters 2015 as the most experienced returning keeper.
  2015 Poll Position: 7th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 8-10-2/7-4-1
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Lost in Semis (W&L, 2-0)
Head Coach: Liz Pike
Overall Record/Yrs: 78-72-14 (.518)/8
Record at SU/Yrs: 78-72-14 (.518)/8
ODAC Record/Yrs: 21-12-3 (.625)/3
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Danielle Burris (M), Michelle Krause (D), Jennifer Nguyen (F), Erin Septer (GK)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 23 - Danielle Burris
  Goals: 9 - Danielle Burris
  Assists: 6 - Alysha McCleaf
  Saves: 75 - Erin Septer
Hornets' Outlook: The bonding process is well underway for head coach Liz Pike and her 2015 squad following a 10-day trip to Spain. That should be time well-spent as 14 newcomers look to gel with 19 returning players. Four of those earned All-ODAC Third Team honors, including leading scorer Danielle Burris. When it comes to scoring, SU features four of the five players that racked up 11 or more points, with that list including Averi Rosena, Alysha McCleaf, and third teamer Jennifer Nguyen. Defender Michelle Krause and keeper Erin Septer complete the Hornets' third-team contingent. Elizabeth Bellido, Lauren Johnson and Taylor Potter starter each game for SU in 2014.
2015 Poll Position: 12th
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 0-16-0/0-12-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: N/A
Head Coach: Robin Ramirez
Overall Record/Yrs: 11-57-1 (.167)/4
Record at HU/Yrs: 0-16-0 (.000)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 0-12-0 (.000)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: None
  Goals: None
  Assists: None
  Saves: 49 - Audrey Haisley
Hollins' Outlook: The rebuilding process is well underway for Hollins and second-year head coach Robin Ramirez. Eight newcomers join six returning players for the 2015 campaign. Audrey Haisley, who made 49 saves in her rookie year, will compete for time in goal with newcomer Caroline Thomas. Co-captains Christina Havrila and Jhovanna Salmeron will provide leadership and punch of front. Midfielder Kally Saffer leads the class of newcomers after picking up all-conference, all-region and all-state honors at Bishop McGuinness HS (Winston-Salem, N.C.).
  2015 Poll Position: T-3rd
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 12-7-2/9-3-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Lost in Semis (LC, 1-0 in OT)
Head Coach: Jeff Bowers
Overall Record/Yrs: 226-63-32 (.754)/15
Record at VWC/Yrs: 226-63-32 (.754)/15
ODAC Record/Yrs: 137-20-12 (.846)/15
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Allie Ketzler (D)
  Second Team: Katie Roberts (F)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 23 - Lauren Shular
  Goals: 9 - Lauren Shular
  Assists: 5 - Lauren Shular
  Saves: 72 - Megan Gerhart
Marlins' Outlook: Virginia Wesleyan went toe-to-toe with eventual ODAC and national champion Lynchburg in the conference semifinals, falling 1-0 in OT. Several standouts are back from that squad, includling first team defender Allie Ketzler and second team forward Katie Roberts. Lauren Shular led the Marlins in all scoring categories. She have plenty of support, not only from 2014 double-digit scorers Kristen Cherry, Annie Hartman and Roberts, but also 2013 first team forward Kaitlyn Clunan following a lost season to injury. Stalwart goalkeeper Megan Gerhart adds to a stout defense that includes returning starter Abigail Nickle. Head coach Jeff Bowers has a lot to be excited about despite facing some of the best competition in the country.
2015 Poll Position: 1st
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 26-0-2/12-0-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Champion (W&L, 1-0)
2014 NCAA Tournament: Champion (Williams, Tied 0-0, won title following penalty kick shootout)
Head Coach: Dr. Todd Olsen
Overall Record/Yrs: 364-82-42 (.789)/21
Record at LC/Yrs: 364-82-42 (.789)/21
ODAC Record/Yrs: 181-25-15 (.853)/21
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emily Maxwell (D), Jade Woll (M)
  Second Team: Natalie Deacon (D), Tess Frelick (GK), Morgan Singer (F)
  Third Team: Kelley Smith (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 41 - Morgan Singer
  Goals: 18 - Morgan Singer
  Assists: 9 - Camille Bartley
  Saves: 45 - Tess Frelick
Hornets' Outlook: Lynchburg, the #1 team in the country according to the NSCAA preseaosn poll, has not lost since November 17, 2013, as the 2014 ODAC and NCAA D-III champs prepare to defend their titles. Head coach Dr. Todd Olsen has the chore of replacing the two most prolific scorers in ODAC history in Dessi Dupuy and Angela Bosco. Six All-ODAC honorees are back to do just that, led by first team winger Jade Woll and first team centerback Emily Maxwell, who doubled as the ODAC ROY. Her central defensive partner Natalie Deacon and goalkeeper Tess Frelick earned second team honors along with forward Morgan Singer. Center midfielder Kelley Smith picked up their team honors. Marina Clark and Samantha Bagherpour -- the NCAA Elite 89 winner for D-III women's soccer -- turned the center of LC's midfield into a team strength.
  2015 Poll Position: 2nd
2014 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-2-1/11-1-0
2014 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Lost in Finals (LC, 1-0)
Head Coach: Neil Cunningham
Overall Record/Yrs: 264-75-30 (.756)/20
Record at W&L/Yrs: 202-45-26 (.788)/14
ODAC Record/Yrs: 125-18-14 (.841) /14
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Addie Healy (GK), Ashley Hogan (D), Tricia Jessee (F)
  Second Team: Katie Pettit (M)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 32 - Tricia Jessee
  Goals: 14 - Tricia Jessee
  Assists: 4 - Erin Harvey/Tricia Jessee
  Saves: 40 - Addie Healy
Generals' Outlook: Washington and Lee lost just two games last season, both to eventual ODAC and national champion Lynchburg. Four All-ODAC honorees are back, including three first teamers, the most of any team in the conference. Goalkeeper Addie Healy and defender Ashley Hogan lead a defense that gave up just six goals last year. Contrarily, forward Tricia Jessee specializes in scoring goals after leading W&L in points. Five of the top scoring Generals are back with Jessee joined by Erin Harvey, Caroline Hahn, Becca Dunn and Chandler Wickers. The midfield is led by second team choice Katie Pettit.