Bulldogs Picked Sixth In GLIAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll announced Thursday (Aug. 23) by the league office.
The league's 14 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Grand Valley State outdistanced Ohio Dominican by 23 points and collected 13 first-place votes en route to being the preseason league favorite. GVSU, which has won the last seven GLIAC titles, will work towards earning its 10th-straight NCAA Tournament bid this year.
Ohio Dominican, only in its third year of GLIAC action, finished second in the preseason poll, receiving 146 points and the only other first-place vote. Ashland was voted third in the poll with 136 points. After making it to the GLIAC Tournament, Ashland saw its 2011 season come to an end in the GLIAC Tournament finals.
Tiffin grabbed fourth place and tallied 124 points, followed closely by Northern Michigan by one vote, with 123 points to finish in fifth place. Ferris State collected 111 points to finish in sixth place while Saginaw Valley State earned 101 points to finish in seventh place. Michigan Tech finished in eighth place, garnering 80 points.
In the lower half, Findlay received 70 points to finish just six points ahead of Northwood for a ninth-place finish. Northwood tallied 64 points and took 10th place in the polls. Walsh, beginning its first year as a full member of the GLIAC, earned 52 points for a 11th-place finish. GLAC affiliate Notre Dame College was voted 12th with 48 points, followed by first-year GLIAC member Malone in 13th place with 28 points. Lake Erie rounded out the poll in 14th place with 26 points.
Head Coach Matt Kellogg will embark on this third season at the Bulldog helm this fall and has guided FSU to back-to-back trips to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament.
FSU welcomes back 15 letterwinners from a year ago for the program's 14th collegiate campaign, including 10 players with starting experience. The returnees include junior goalkeeper Rachel McCollum, who made 18 starts a year ago and finished with a 1.05 goals against average to go with 86 saves. Sophomore midfielder Stephanie Garland recorded 10 points as a rookie last year on three goals and four assists while junior midfielder Hillary Braun contributed a pair of goals.
Ferris State finished the 2011 campaign with a 7-9-3 overall record. Last fall's appearance in the conference tournament represented the program's fourth ever as the Bulldogs also made the tournament in 2007 and 2008 before the back-to-back trips in 2010 and 2011.
The Bulldogs officially start the regular-season by squaring off against Indianapolis in the Grand Valley State Kickoff Tournament on Friday, Aug. 31, in Allendale. Match time is set for 4:30 p.m. (ET). FSU then faces Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) to wrap up the event on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m. (ET).
Ferris State opens its home slate facing Ohio Dominican on Sept. 14 in what represents the Bulldogs' Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener. FSU continues the four-match homestand with Ashland (Sept. 16), Northwood (Sept. 21) and Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 23) also on the docket.