Aug. 18, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army women’s soccer was picked fourth in the Patriot League’s preseason coaches’ poll in Monday’s announcement by the conference office. The Black Knights earned 101 points, nipping American by three for that spot, in a voting compiled by the league's head coaches and sports information directors, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Defending tournament champion Boston University received 15 of the 20 first-place votes and totaled 159 points as the preseason favorite, followed by regular-season champion Navy with 148 points and five first-place votes. Colgate (131), Army (101) and American (98) rounded out the top half of the 10-team field.
Bucknell was picked sixth (82) followed by Lehigh (55), Loyola (46), Holy Cross (43) and Lafayette (37) in rounding out the field. Army, Boston University, Navy, Colgate and Bucknell earned berths to last year’s league tournament that was expanded to six teams with the addition of Boston University and Loyola to the conference.
Navy and American had a conference high three players on the Preseason Patriot League poll with the Midshipmen also claiming the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in Morgan Dankanich and Jade Seabrook, respectively. Boston University and Colgate each had a pair on the preseason team that featured 12 players due to a tie in the voting.
Army finished fourth (4-3-2) last year in the regular-season standings and hosted American in a quarter-final round. The teams battled to a 0-0 double overtime draw with the Eagles advancing to the semifinal round on penalty kicks.
The Black Knights return 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 8-7-4, including all-league selection Katie Holder, who ranked among the league’s leaders in game winners (three) and shots (59). Also among Army’s returnees is goalkeeper Jordan Cassalia, who shut out preseason champion Navy in her first service academy match as a freshman to finish the season with a 0.95 goals against average, along with being involved in six of seven shutouts.
Army has 12 upperclassmen (five seniors and seven juniors) and 17 underclassmen (seven sophomores and 10 freshmen) with senior co-captains Ellen Duckwall and Lara Wilson providing the leadership.
The Black Knights usher in their 29th season Friday evening (Aug. 22) hosting Fairfield under the lights at Clinton Field in their season opener followed by NCAA participant St. John’s on Monday (Aug. 25).
Six other league teams also open action Friday in American, Boston University, Colgate, Loyola, Navy and Holy Cross.
2014 Patriot League Women's Soccer Preseason Results
1. Boston University – 159 points (15 first-place votes)
2. Navy – 148 (5)
3. Colgate – 131
4. ARMY - 101
5. American – 98
6. Bucknell – 82
7. Lehigh – 55
8. Loyola – 46
9. Holy Cross – 43
10. Lafayette -37