LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland women’s soccer was picked second in the Mid-South Conference in a vote league coaches released Tuesday by the conference office.
First-year head coach Brian Davies returns 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s club that finished 13-5-2 overall and tied for second in the Mid-South with a 5-1-1 mark. The Phoenix won an NAIA Championship Opening Round match to reach the NAIA Championships final site in Orange Beach, Ala., for the fourth time in five years, falling to eventual national champion Spring Arbor in the Round of 16.
Senior Emily Shires and junior Rebecca Holloway were both named NAIA Honorable Mention All-Americans, with Shires posting a team-leading 15 goals while Holloway added six goals and a team-best nine assists.
Junior goalkeeper Ashley Kambeitz along with senior Kaitlen Kisiloski and sophomore Luca Jöns anchor a defense that allowed just 19 goals and 177 shots (8.85 per match) in 2016. Cumberland ranked 43rd nationally among 195 schools, giving up 0.95 goals-per-match last year.
Juniors Savannah Moreland and Mariah Aplin combined for 10 goals and 12 assists last season as well, helping the club average 2.25 goals per match. Sophomore Katherine Hassell also started 17 matches in a holding midfielder spot, adding one goal and three assists.
Cumberland must replace three-year starters Dayle Weslosky and Maddie Barbier on the backline along with three-time All-American Olivia Chu, who finished her career with 29 goals and 20 assists in 70 matches.
Lindsey Wilson received seven first-place votes and 49 total points for first place in the coaches’ poll, with CU picking up the other first-place vote and 41 total points. Georgetown College ranked third with 37 points, followed by the University of the Cumberlands (31) and Campbellsville University (23). Shawnee State (20), Life University (14) and the University of Pikeville (9) rounded out the poll.
Cumberland continues practice this week twice-a-day in Lebanon and heads to Destin, Fla., for a week of training next week. The Phoenix open the season August 24 at Tennessee Wesleyan and play their first home match August 31 versus John Brown University.
2017 Mid-South Conference Women's Soccer
Preseason Coaches' Poll
|No.||School (First-Place Votes)||Points||2016 Record/MSC|
|1.||Lindsey Wilson (7)||49||16-3-1/7-0-0|
|2.||Cumberland University (1)||41||13-5-2/5-1-1|
|4.||University of the Cumberlands||31||10-9-1/3-3-1|
|8.||University of Pikeville||9||7-12-0/0-7-0|