Gulls Grab Top Spot In CCC Women’s Soccer Poll

Gulls Grab Top Spot In CCC Women’s Soccer Poll

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Last year’s Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women’s Soccer Regular-Season Champion, Endicott, was picked to lead the conference once again as it earned the top spot in the CCC Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Gulls nabbed 77 points in this year’s voting including five of the nine first place votes cast by the league’s nine head women’s soccer coaches. They completed the 2017 campaign with a 8-0-1 CCC (13-5-1 overall) record, but fell victim to No. 4 seed Gordon in the CCC Tournament Semifinals.

Roger Williams, which claimed the 2017 CCC Tournament title, was picked second in this year’s voting and earned the 74 points. Included among its point total were the remaining four first place votes. The Hawks posted a 7-1-1 league (14-8-2 overall) mark last season and entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed. After defeating the Fighting Scots in the CCC Championship they advanced to the 2017 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament where they lost to eventual NCAA Semifinalist TCNJ.

The Fighting Scots, the 2017 CCC Tournament runner-up ranked third in this year’s poll garnering 63 points in the voting. Western New England, a conference tournament semifinalist a year ago, landed in the fourth spot in this year’s poll with 53 points.

The University of New England and Wentworth both collected 38 points in the poll to tie for fifth, while Salve Regina (32 points), Curry (17), and Nichols (13) rounded out the ledger.

The women’s soccer season starts up on Friday, Aug. 31 with seven CCC teams starting non-conference play. The league schedule kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 15. This year the postseason will have a slightly modified format as only the top seven teams will qualify for the CCC Championship Tournament. The tournament will begin with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, Oct. 27 and will feature three games with the top seed receiving a bye. The winners of those games will meet in the CCC Semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The tournament will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 3 with the championship match. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference’s automatic qualifier in to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2018 CCC women’s soccer schedule.

 

2018 CCC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Endicott 77 (5)
2. Roger Williams 74 (4)
3. Gordon 63
4. Western New England 53
T-5. University of New England 38
T-5. Wentworth 38
7. Salve Regina 32
8. Curry 17
9. Nichols 13

 

2018 CCC Women's Soccer Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Endicott

Under the guidance of head coach Jodi Kenyon, who is entering her 14th at Endicott, the Gulls will be looking to bring home the program's first title since 2013 after four straight CCC semifinal appearances. Leading the charge after a 13-5-1 campaign in 2017 will be a talented senior class in Delaney Caggiano (Bristol, Conn.), Sharlotte Pernice (West Springfield, Mass.), and Mary Verneris (Hamden, Conn.). The trio will look to bring Endicott back to CCC postseason play for the 20th consecutive season. The Gulls open up play on Friday, Aug. 31 against Union at home.

  Delaney Caggiano, EC

2. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams University women’s soccer team looks to repeat as CCC Tournament Champions. Head coach Tim Moody guided the 2017 Hawks to the No. 2 seed entering the CCC Tournament and led them to their third CCC Championship and NCAA Tournament bid in four years. Although the team lost CCC Defensive Player of the Year Samantha Woznicki, the team is prepared to have the returners step up and bring RWU back to the top of the CCC. Two of the four leading scorers are returning to the team in 2018, as well as senior Jodie Lavigne (Coventry, R.I.), a two-year starting defender.

  Jodie Lavigne, RWU

3. Gordon

Gordon returns all four of its top scorers from last season that helped the team to an 11-5-2 (6-2-1 CCC) record and an appearance in the CCC Tournament Championship game. All-CCC Third Team junior Lexi Potter (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) led the team with nine goals and was ranked sixth in the CCC. All-CCC Second Team senior Asha Steele (Bedford, N.H.) led the team with four game-winning goals and was second on the team with seven goals. Junior Ashton Barkey (Parker, Colo.). was second on the team with six assists and third with five goals. All-CCC First Team junior Devin Lacroix (Candia, N.H.) finished the season tied for second in the CCC with seven assists and scored three goals. The team will have two new starting defenders after Naomi Shearer and Kay Silveira graduated last year. All-CCC Third Team junior goalkeeper Kali Denty (Marshfield, Mass.) starts her third season in the net after recording five shutouts and 65 saves last season.

The Fighting Scots open the season with two home games opening weekend against Skidmore and Union. They then travel to take on Middlebury who advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Gordon travels to play the University of New England Sept. 15 in its CCC opener and will host Wentworth Sept. 29 for its Homecoming game.

   Devin Lacroix, GC


4. Western New England

Western New England brings back the majority of its key players from a 2017 squad that went 10-8-2 (7-2-0 CCC) and hosted its first home playoff game in over a decade.

Kristin Hensinger ’07, last season’s CCC Coach of the Year, will look to take the Golden Bears deeper into the CCC Tournament in her third season at the helm of her alma mater.

Western New England will be led by junior goalkeeper Alex Lemekha (Stamford, Conn.), who posted a 0.98 goals against average with a CCC-leading eight shutouts last fall on her way to All-CCC First Team honors. Senior captain Erin Grimes (Attleboro, Mass.) will anchor the defense, while sophomore forward Morgan Smith (Manchester, Conn.) will look to again be a key offensive contributor following her CCC Rookie of the Year campaign last season.

  Morgan SmithWNE

T-5. University of New England

The University of New England and second-year head coach Carly Gettler bring back seven starters to tackle the 2018 slate. Leading the offense will be junior Katie Beaudoin (Coventry, R.I.), who last year registered the most goals (15) by a UNE player in nine seasons on the way to First Team All-Conference accolades. Receiving Second Team All-CCC status was rising senior goalkeeper Emily Ashman (Madison, Conn.), who racked up the most single-season saves (116) in program history, over 15 appearances, and posted an .853 save percentage.

  Katie Beaudoin, UNE

T-5. Wentworth

Head coach Meredith Carey enters her second season at the helm of the Wentworth women’s soccer program after finishing the 2017 season at 6-11-1 overall. The Leopards qualified for the CCC postseason tournament for the sixth straight season with a 4-4-1 record against conference opponents, falling to Gordon, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round. Anchored by a solid midfield and defense, the Leopards allowed just 26 goals last season – ranking fourth among conference foes – in large part to returning letter-winner Molly Donahue (Quincy, Mass.), who earned All-CCC Second Team honors while starting in 15 of 16 games. Joining Donahue in the midfield is Madyson Reno (Superior, Colo.), a returning letter-winner and 2015 CCC Rookie of the Year and First Team selection. Wentworth also welcomes back Christie Fleming (Braintree, Mass.), the now senior goalkeeper for the Leopards, who made 85 saves last season, including nine stops in the Leopards’ narrow tournament loss to Gordon. Across the CCC, Fleming ranked fifth in goals-against average (1.28), and tied for second in goals against (14). Offensively, the Leopards look to utilize Jess Poratti (Essex Junction, Vt.), who finished her sophomore campaign with the second-most goals for Wentworth.

The Leopards kick off the 2018 season with five games on the road, including the season opener against St. Lawrence at the North Country Lotto Tournament on Aug. 31.

 
Molly Donahue, WIT

7. Salve Regina

Head coach Jane Walsh enters her fourth season guiding the Seahawks and is confident her team will create many opportunities for success this season. It begins with the team’s three senior captains Carly Pala (Milford, Conn.), Delaney Maxell (Lincoln, R.I.), and Abby McMackin (Walpole, Mass.), who took ownership of leading the squad in the spring. Kayla McLaughin (East Hampton, Conn.) will return as a veteran center midfielder and the team will have the majority of their back line returning with Katie Szemreylo (Marlborough, Conn.) and Emily Szemreylo (Marlborough, Conn.), and Amanda Fantasia (Billerica, Mass.).  After a strong spring season Molly Breslin (Rockaway Beach, N.Y.) will work up top as a target forward. The Seahawks also have 13 incoming freshmen looking to contribute this season.  Overall the teams will have a lot of options and in the words of coach Walsh, “options are never a bad thing.”

 
Abby McMackin, SRU

8. Curry

Curry head coach Brigida Palatino enters for her first season on the sidelines for the Colonels. Curry is coming off a 2017 season that saw itself finish with an 8-9-3 overall record, culminating in a berth to the CCC Tournament. The Colonels will rely on their upperclassman leadership of their seniors Shae Breslin (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Haley Wells (Whitman, Mass.). Other key returners include junior Megan Ladner (Bourne, Mass.) and sophomores Lexi Revis (Lincoln, R.I.) and Sarah McGrath (North Dartmouth, Mass.), who are the top returning point recorders from a year ago. Junior Katelyn DeMaio (North Andover, Mass.) and newcomer Margaret Chamberlain (Taunton, Mass.) will look to take the reins of the goalkeeper position. Other returning contributors will be sophomores Jocelyn Dimond (Weare, N.H.), Tayla Randall (Walpole, Mass.), and Isabella Shields (Lakeville, Mass.) along with junior Courtney Lima (New Bedford, Mass.). Curry will welcome 14 newcomers to the 2018 roster who will look help the Colonels get back to another berth in the CCC Tournament.

 
Megan Ladner, CC

9. Nichols

The Nichols College women’s soccer team begins year two under head coach Karen Gurnon looking to build upon last season’s 16-goal improvement. The top five scorers from last season’s squad all graduated in May, leaving plenty of opportunity for underclassmen to step in and contribute immediately. In the meantime, senior Alana Rodrigues (Southbridge, Mass.) and junior Nicole Gidley (Dartmouth, Mass.) each potted three goals last season and will provide veteran leadership. Senior goalkeeper Brooke Downey (Middleboro, Mass.) led the conference in saves last season (150) and enters the campaign No. 1 in NC program history in both minutes and goals against average.

 

 
Alana Rodrigues, NC

 

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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