NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – After finishing in the top half of the Little East Conference standings in each of the past four season, the UMass Boston women's soccer was picked to finish fourth in the conference this year, the league announced Thursday.
The Beacons received 35 votes in the Little East Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll after finishing with their third straight 14-win season and their fourth straight trip to the LEC semifinals. UMass Boston ended their 2011 campaign with a 14-7-2 record and a fourth place finish in the ECAC New England Tournament.
Eastern Connecticut State finished first in the poll with 58 votes and five first-place votes after earning the crown of Little East Conference Tournament Champion with a penalty kicks victory. The two teams that Eastern Connecticut State beat in the 2011 tournament finished second and third in the poll; with Keene State grabbing 57 points and one first-place vote and Western Connecticut State earning 52 points and the other two first-place votes.
UMass Dartmouth finished in sixth place with 29 points, just ahead of Plymouth State who recorded 24 votes. The University of Southern Maine (21 points) and Rhode Island College (12 votes) rounded out the poll.
Led by eighth-year head coach Amy Zombeck, the Beacons return seven starters and 10 members of last season's team. That squad included the ECAC All-New England Rookie of the Year Krista Ledin (Bridegwater, MA.) who set new program records- while leading the league, with her 23 goals and 50 points. Goaltender Dani Perkins (Murrieta, CA) is another strong freshman returnee; she finished her 2011 season with a program record 14 wins, a .70 Goals Against Average and 10 shutouts. The Beacons also return a pair of talented sophomores in Little East Conference Second Team member Alli Modzelewski (Newtown, CT) and Tayla Andrews (Plymouth, MA) who finished third on the team with five goals and seven assists as a key substitute.
UMass Boston's schedule includes two 2011 NCAA Tournament teams with fourth ranked Wheaton (MA.) on the road and Little East Conference Champion Eastern Connecticut at home. The Beacons will open their 2012 season on Saturday September 1, at 1 p.m., at home against MCLA.
|2012 Little East Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|Rank||Institution||First Place||Total Points|
|1||Eastern Connecticut State University||5||58|
|2||Keene State College||1||57|
|3||Western Connecticut State University||2||52|
|4||University of Massachusetts Boston||35|
|5||University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||29|
|6||Plymouth State University||24|
|7||University of Southern Maine||21|
|8||Rhode Island College||12|