ORU Picked 4th in Summit League Preseason Coaches' Poll

ORU Picked 4th in Summit League Preseason Coaches' Poll

ELMHURST, Ill. – The Oral Roberts women's soccer team was picked to finish fourth in the preseason coaches' poll.  The Denver women's soccer team was voted Summit League preseason favorites for the 2017 season in the closest poll in league history, where only two points separated the first and fourth ranked teams. Coming off a regular season co-championship, Denver returns the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, and Freshman of the Year award winners.

South Dakota State, champions of the last three Summit League tournaments, and North Dakota State, who earned a share of the regular season title last year, each picked up two first-place votes and 40 total points. Oral Roberts rounded out the top four with 39 points and a poll-high three first-place votes after finishing as runner-up in The Summit League tournament last year.

 

2017 Summit League Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank

School

Points (1st)

2016 Record (SL)

1.

Denver

41 (1)

8-9-2 (5-2-1, 16 pts.)

2.

South Dakota State

40 (2)

10-7-4 (5-3-0, 15 pts.)

 

North Dakota State

40 (2)

10-8-1 (5-2-1, 16 pts.)

4.

Oral Roberts

39 (3)

11-9-2 (5-3-0, 15 pts.)

5.

South Dakota

22

5-13-1 (4-4-0, 12 pts.)

 

Omaha

22

5-11-3 (3-4-1, 10 pts.)

7.

Western Illinois

12

4-11-2 (2-5-1, 7 pts.)

8.

Fort Wayne

8

3-14-2 (0-6-2, 2 pts.)

 

#SummitWSOC Preseason Notes

  • The Summit League returns all five individual award honorees (Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Goalkeeper, Freshman, and Coach of the Year). The league also welcomes two new head coaches in 2017, Tim Walters of Omaha and Brock Thompson of South Dakota State. 
  • Denver retains a strong core for the 2017 season, anchored by outside back Makenzie Bothner, goalkeeper Brittany Wilson, and midfielder Hannah Adler. Last year, the Pioneers allowed a league-low four goals during the regular season, including a second-best four shutouts. 
  • SDSU looks to make it four consecutive Summit League tournament appearances with two 2016 First Team All-Summit and two All-Freshman award winners returning. Goalkeeper Maggie Smither was named MVP of The Summit League tournament after posting a shutout in the championship game. She allowed just four goals in 2016, good for a Summit League record 0.34 goals against average.  
  • NDSU has had a piece of the regular season title for the past two years, but is looking for its first Summit League tournament title since 2010. The Bison return three Summit League award honorees in Holly Enderle, Monica Polgar, and Mariah Haberle.
  • 2016 Coach of the Year Roger Bush and Offensive Player of the Year Lexi Jones look to improve upon Oral Roberts' 11-9-2 (SL: 5-3-0) record in the new year. The Golden Eagles return a promising offensive set and two All-Freshman selections in Nelly Mamabolo and Brooklyn Eardley.
  • South Dakota knocked off both regular season co-champion North Dakota State and tournament champion South Dakota State in the 2016 regular season. The Coyote defense is headed by returning Second Team All-Summit selection Katlin Ptacek, who also helped the squad earn the program's first birth to The Summit League tournament in 2015.

 

#SummitWSOC Schedule Notes

  • The 2017 season officially begins Aug. 18 with the league schedule kicking off Sept. 28.
  • The season-opening weekend will feature 15 games with Summit League members, including two competitions involving 2018 Summit League conference member North Dakota (NDSU vs. North Dakota 8/18, Western Illinois at North Dakota 8/20).
  • Oral Roberts will host SDSU on Oct. 22 in a rematch of last season's championship match.
  • The top four regular-season finishers will qualify for The Summit League Women's Soccer Championship, held in Fargo, N.D., Nov. 2 and 4.

 

Players to Watch

Hannah Adler, Denver – M, So.
- 2016 Summit League Freshman of the Year
- 2016 Second Team All-Summit, All-Freshman Team
- Led Denver in points (12), goals (4), and co-led in assists (4), while also scoring two game-winning goals

Makenzie Bothner, Denver – D, Sr.
- 2016 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, 2016 First Team All-Summit
- Started all 19 games for the Pioneers in 2016, contributing four assists in 1,713 minutes
- Part of a Denver defensive unit that allowed only four goals in league play, the lowest total in 2016

Madeline Edwards, Western Illinois – F, R-Jr.
- Started 14-of-15 games played with the Leathernecks in 2016
- Logged 1,234 minutes last season, fourth most on the team
- Led team in shots (35) in 2016 and assists (2) in 2015

Holly Enderle, North Dakota State – F, Jr.
- 2016 First Team All-Summit
- Led team and ranked second in league in goals (10) and points (22)
- Three-time Summit League Offensive POW award winner

Paityn Fleming, Fort Wayne – M, Jr.
- Started all 19 contests last year
- Scored the game-winning goal against Tiffin (Sept. 18) in 2016
- Top three in minutes played for program last year (1,488)

Nicole Hatcher, South Dakota State – F, Sr.
- 2016 First Team All-Summit, 2014 All-Freshman Team, 2014 Summit League All-Tournament Team
- Two-time Summit League Offensive POW (Sept. 19, Oct. 10), led league in assists (10) in 2016
- Led team in points (22) and goals (6), and tied the program all-time single-season assists (10) in 2016

Lydia Holtmann, Omaha – M, Sr.
- 2014 All-Freshman Team honoree
- Seven career goals and six career assists
- Last year accumulated 10 points on four goals and two assists in 1,092 minutes played

Lexi Jones, Oral Roberts – M, Sr.
- 2016 Summit League Offensive Player of the Year, 2016 First Team All-Summit
- Led league in goals (11) and points (23) in 2016
- Scored a league-leading five game-winning goals last year, Summit League Offensive POW on Oct. 17

Katlin Ptacek, South Dakota – D, Sr.
- 2016 Second Team All-Summit
- Summit League Defensive POW on Oct. 17
- Defensive glue who started all 19 contests and accumulated 1,739 minutes played in 2016 (4,687 career total)

Maggie Smither, South Dakota State – GK, So.
- 2016 Summit League Tournament MVP
- 2016 Summit League All-Freshman Team, November 2016 Summit League Female Athlete of the Month
- Allowed only four goals between the pipes last year for a Summit League record 0.34 goals against average

Brittany Wilson, Denver – GK, So.
- 2016 Summit League Goalkeeper of the Year
- 2016 Summit League All-Freshman Team, First Team All-Summit
- Earned two solo clean sheets and shared four others in 1,256 minutes played

Note: Players to Watch nominated by league's head coaches

For the latest information on ORU women's soccer, follow @ORUWSoccer on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App atORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.

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