FREELAND, Mich. – The Trine University women's soccer team has been selected to finish seventh in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association by association coaches in this year's preseason poll.
The Thunder received votes totaling 21 points to finish in the seventh spot in the poll. The point totals are determined by votes cast by the league's coaches, who cannot vote for their own team. Hope College was selected to finish first with 62 points and six of the first-place votes. Adrian College came in just behind them with 59 points and the other three first-place votes.
Trine's position in the poll reflects exactly the team's seventh-place finish from a season ago. The team finished with a 5-11-1 overall record and a 2-5-1 record in MIAA play. The finish was the program's best since 2011.
"We play in a very strong conference against a lot of talented teams," said head coach Gary Boughton, "I think it gives our team a goal to finish the season ahead of that position, and we'll try and use that as motivation."
This will be the first season for Boughton who was hired in January to take over the club. He arrives at Trine after a highly successful stint as head coach of SUNY Erie College which became a national power in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) under his guidance.
Trine will look to rely on some valuable upperclassman leadership, as a core group of players returns from a year ago.
Headlining the group of returners is senior Morgan Sanderson (Leo, Ind. / Leo). Last season she led the team with 12 points including a team-high five goals and two assists. She also became the career leader in both points and goals in the program's NCAA Division III era.
Fellow senior Marisa Robinett (Auburn, Ind. / DeKalb) also makes her return after finishing last season tied with Sanderson with a team-high two assists and tying for third with two goals. Junior Courtney Reece (Indianapolis, Ind. / Roncalli) will also return having finished last season with two goals as well.
The Thunder will take the pitch for the first time this season when they travel to face Franklin College on Friday, August 30. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
2019 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
|Place||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Hope College (6)||62|
|2.||Adrian College (3)||59|
|8.||Saint Mary's College||18|