CAA Press Release:
RICHMOND, Va. (August 5, 2014) – Hofstra is
favored to win what should be a very competitive battle for the CAA women's
soccer championship in 2014 according to a vote of the league's head coaches.
The Pride received three first-place votes and 74 total points to narrowly edge out defending regular-season champion James Madison, which earned four first-place votes and had 71 total points, and perennial power William & Mary, which got a pair of first-place tallies and 70 total points. Northeastern, which won the 2014 CAA title, also got one first-place vote and was picked fourth with 57 points. UNCW (40 points) was chosen fifth, followed by Delaware (40), Drexel (31), CAA newcomer Elon (23), Towson (21) and College of Charleston (15).
Hofstra returns seven starters from last year's 10-6-3 squad. The Pride is led by two of the league's top offensive performers in junior forward Leah Galton (8g, 11a), who was selected as the 2013 CAA Player of the Year, and senior forward Sam Scolarici (18g, 2a), who ranked fifth nationally in goals per game and was a first-team all-conference honoree. Also back is third-team All-CAA midfielder Jeannine Molleda (5g, 5a) and sophomore midfielder Jill Mulholland, who missed last season due to injury after making the All-CAA first team in 2012.
James Madison welcomes back seven starters from its 15-5-1 team that claimed the outright CAA regular-season crown for the first time ever with a 6-1-1 mark. The Dukes return their top two scorers in senior forward Katie Hyland (9g, 3a) and sophomore forward Ashley Herndon (6g, 7a), who received second-team All-CAA and CAA Rookie of the Year accolades. Senior Shannon Rano, a second-team All-CAA pick in 2013, anchors the defense in front of junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest (1.13 GAA, 6 ShO).
William & Mary has eight starters returning from last year's 8-2-7 team which posted a winning season for an NCAA-record 33rd year in a row. Senior forward Emory Camper scored a team-high 10 goals in 2013 and earned a spot on the All-CAA first team. The Tribe's defense will be strong with the return of first-team All-CAA goalkeeper Caroline Casey (0.91 GAA, 74 svs., 6 ShO). Also back are all-conference performers Emily Fredrikson and Taylor Dyson along with junior Leci Irvin.
Northeastern captured its first CAA championship since 2008 last season and the Huskies return seven starters from that squad. Senior goalkeeper Paige Burnett (1.38 GAA, 108 svs.) provides a lot of experience and senior defender Bianca Calderone was a second-team All-CAA selection. Offensively, senior Lahaina Zoller and junior Shayna Blackwood each scored three goals last season.
The CAA has had five different teams capture the league title over the past five years. The conference has placed multiple teams in the NCAA Tournament field in 15 of the past 21 seasons.
2014 CAA WOMEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
1. Hofstra (3 first-place votes) 74
2. James Madison (4 first-place votes) 71
3. William & Mary (2 first-place votes) 70
4. Northeastern (1 first-place vote) 57
5. UNCW 48
6. Delaware 40
7. Drexel 31
8. Elon 23
9. Towson 21
10. College of Charleston 15
(Teams received 9 points for a first-place vote, 8 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)