August 30, 2017

New England College Selected Favorite in 2017 NAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

New England College claimed the top spot in the 2017 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) women's soccer preseason poll. The Pilgrims received 90 points, after earning four first-place votes.

Colby-Sawyer College, the defending champion, was tabbed second just one point behind NEC after claiming three first-place votes for a total of 89 points. Castleton University was selected third after earning 79 points and one first-place vote, Husson University took fourth with 74 points and the remaining two first-place votes, while Maine Maritime Academy claimed fifth with 67 points.

Rounding out the poll were the University of Maine at Farmington in sixth (50 points), Thomas College in seventh (40 points), Johnson State College in eighth (30 points), Lyndon State College in ninth (20 points), and Green Mountain College in 10th (11 points).

Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head women's soccer coaches.

2017 NAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. New England College   90 (4)
2. Colby-Sawyer 89 (3)
3. Castleton  79 (1)
4. Husson 74 (2)
5. Maine Maritime 67
6. UMaine-Farmington 50
7. Thomas 40
8. Johnson 30
9. Lyndon 20
10. Green Mountain 11

The 2016 NAC Tournament saw the top six teams in the 2017 poll compete for the NAC title. The No. 5 and No. 3 seeds advanced in last seasons' quarterfinal round, as fifth-seeded Castleton tallied a 4-3 penalty kick advantage after a scoreless regulation and two overtime periods over No. 4 Maine Maritime, while No. 3 Colby-Sawyer earned a 3-2 win over No. 6 UMaine-Farmington. Top-seeded NEC earned a 2-0 win over the Spartans in the semifinals, while the Chargers continued their run with a 2-1 upset victory over No. 2 Husson. The 2016 tightly contested title match went to Colby-Sawyer after a 1-0 final over New England College. 

After claiming the teams fourth-consecutive conference championship, the Chargers saw their season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as Colby-Sawyer fell to No. 6/9 Stevens, 8-0.

The 2017 NAC women's soccer campaign kicks off with all ten teams in action this weekend. The top six teams in the 2017 regular-season conference standings will qualify for the NAC tournament, which gets underway Saturday, October 28, with quarterfinal action between seeds 3-6. The top two seeds will earn a bye in the first round and will take on the two quarterfinal winners in the semifinals on Tuesday, October 31. The two semifinal victors will battle for the NAC championship on Saturday, November 4.

Click HERE to view the 2017 NAC Women's Soccer composite schedule. 

2017 NAC Women's Soccer Previews

For more information on each team, click the school name to be directed to the women's soccer section of each school's website.


1. New England College (13-6-1, 8-0-1 NAC) will look to defend the 2016 regular season title with sights set on a final appearance in the NAC Championship game under head coach Paul Vazquez, who returns for his 10th season. The Pilgrims return both of last season's leading point producers in Jaycie Triandafilou (Newburyport, Mass.; pictured right) and Michaela Pomeroy (Thetford, Vt.), who both tallied 11 goals and three assists in 2016. Defensively, Dawn Johnson (Farmingdale, N.Y.) is back after starting in 17 games last season. The Pilgrims also welcome 11 new faces to the roster this year. NEC will open the season with two competitive games in New York, taking on Union College and Skidmore on September 1 and 2, respectively. 



2. Colby-Sawyer (10-9-1, 6-2-1 NAC)
, led by sixth-year head coach Meghan Medbery, will look to make a NAC tournament appearance for a seventh-straight season. Medbery returns first team All-NAC honoree senior Corrie Hoyt (Lebanon, Conn.; pictured right) and All-NAC second team honorees, senior Emily Martin (Amesbury, Mass.) and junior Abbie Sansoucy (Douglas, Mass.). Despite losing the top two leading goal scorers to graduation, Sansoucy and sophomore Molly MacLure (Westford, Mass.) return after each scoring six times last season. The Chargers will open the season on the road at Norwich on September 1.



3. Castleton (7-8-6, 5-2-2 NAC) will once again be led by head coach Chris Chapdelaine, who enters his 13th year at the helm in 2017. Chapdelaine has a new look to his team this season, with 14 of 22 players on the roster being either a freshman or a sophomore. Freshmen Julia Carone (Bomoseen, Vt.) and Aubra Linn (Hampden, Me.) look to mesh well with a strong returning group led by Makenzi Bellando (Carver, Mass.) and Bronwen Hopwood (Hinesburg, Vt.; pictured right). Chapdelaine is excited about the high level of individual talent on the team this season, emphasizing the importance of playing as a team to get back to the top of the conference in 2017. The Spartans open their season on Friday, September 1, against Plattsburgh State on the road.  



4. Husson (7-8-2, 6-1-2 NAC) will be led by Amanda Cummings, who enters her third season as the head coach and fourth year on the staff. The Eagles return 14 players from last year's team including three of the team's top five scorers including Leah Hibbad (Portsmouth, R.I.; pictured right), a 2016 All-NAC first team selection, Taylor Fortin (Goffstown, N.H.) and Allison Carey (Plymouth, N.H.). Leading the defense will be the 2016 All-NAC Second Team selection, Maddie Page (Hermon, Maine). Husson will look to capture their first NAC Championship since 2009 with the talent and depth of the 2017 squad. The Eagles open the season at Saint Joseph's (Me) on Sunday, September 3. 




5. Maine Maritime (10-7-2, 6-3 NAC) will be led by Seth Brown, who enters his fifth season as the Mariners mentor. Makayla Lewis (Purcellville, Va.; pictured right), a 2016 All-NAC First Team selection, returns for her junior season after leading the squad in goals last season. The Mariners look to return to the NAC Tournament this year and will open the 2017 season against Unity College on Friday, September 1. 





6. UMaine-Farmington (7-11, 5-4 NAC) will be under the direction of Molly Wilkie, who enters her 10th season at the helm. Key returning players include senior goalkeeper Kiana Thompson (Industry, Maine), senior midfielder Kaiti Kinney (Surry, Maine), senior forward Haley Murano (Brunswick, Maine), junior midfielder Lydia Roy (Waterville, Maine; pictured right), and sophomore defender Eden LeBlanc (Dayton, Maine). The Beavers will look to their upperclassmen to lead them to a top-six finish and a win in the first round of the NAC Tournament. They open the season on the road against Plymouth State on September 1 at 2:00 p.m. 



7. Thomas (3-12, 3-6 NAC)
 will look to make a push for the NAC tournament under seventh-year head coach Deb Biche-Labbe. The Terriers return nine players from the previous season and with the addition of incoming first-year players are looking to make an impact. Among those returners are All-NAC Second Team member Molly Carroll (Southwest Harbor, Maine; pictured right), three-year starter Emily Dufour (Waterville, Maine), and sophomore Makenzie Carlow (Winslow, Maine). Key additions to the team are goaltender Kayla Gordon (Wiscasset, Maine) and Taznae Fubler (Smith's, Bermuda). The Terriers will open their season on the road as they face the University of Southern Maine on Friday, September 1, at 4:30 p.m.



8. Johnson (3-12, 2-7 NAC)
 head coach Andrew Lafrenz enters his second year leading the Badgers. Johnson returns Kylie Aither (Hyde Park, Vt.; pictured right), the team's leading scorer last season, and Nicole Weeks (Barre, Vt.), who will anchor the team's defensive efforts while adding considerable energy to the Badger attack. Kelsey Cauchon (Colchester, Vt.), Jaden Gray (Clinton, Maine) and Michaela Brodeur (Colchester, Vt.) all bring a great deal of offensive energy to the incoming class and will help the Badgers improve on their collective offensive effort. Coming off a re-building year, the Badgers are looking to continue to grow competitively. This year's team has grown in numbers as well as skill and fitness and are looking to make their way into NAC Tournament contention. Johnson starts the season on September 1 when the team hosts Vermont Tech. 



9. Lyndon (2-12-1, 0-8-1 NAC)
 will be guided by first-year head coach Katy Ebner, who takes over the program after serving as an assistant coach a season ago. The Hornets will look to build a solid foundation with the return of key players and a strong incoming class. Johanna Sargent (Randolph, Vt.; pictured right) will once again be in between the posts, while Kiya DeWitt (Pittsburgh, N.H.) will look to increase her career goals and Rose Wilson (Plainfield, Vt.) will look to dish out more assists and net some of her own this season. Lyndon will also see Taylor Hollis (Thetford, Vt.), Michaela Columbia (Orleans, Vt.) and Heidi Neuhausser (Unity, N.H.) on the pitch. The Hornets will open with Plymouth State on Saturday, September 2. 



10. Green Mountain (0-15-1, 0-8-1 NAC) enters the 2017 season with Kip Shipley at the helm of the Eagles' program in his first season. Kali DeMarco (Mechanicville, N.Y.; pictured right) returns to lead the team in her junior season having played all over the pitch last year due to her athleticism and feel for the game. The team will be buoyed by sophomore Sophya Fuccione (Lynn, Mass.) who will look to lead the team's defensive efforts. The Eagles will continue to focus on player development this season in a building year for the program. Green Mountain opens the season at home on September 2 against Paul Smith's.