Aug. 8, 2012
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Dayton women's soccer, coming off of its third consecutive Atlantic 10 Title and NCAA appearance, has been predicted to once again win the A-10 Championship, according to preseason voting conducted by the league's 16 head coaches. Richmond and La Salle, who finished with the best 2011 conference record, round out the top three, respectively.
The Flyers, who hold an A-10 record with eight Championship titles, will return eight starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's team, including two first team All-Conference selections Colleen Williams and Alexis Garcia, along with All-Rookie Team selection Kelsey Smigel. Dayton finished third in regular season conference play with a 7-2-0 record and 19-4-0 overall.
Led by A-10 Offensive Player of the Year Becca Wann, Richmond lands second in the predicted order of finish. The Spiders, who lost to Dayton in the Championship semifinals, will return six starters and 20 letterwinners from the 2011 squad. Richmond finished last season with the second-best conference record (7-1-1) and 13-5-3 overall.
La Salle, under the leadership of A-10 Coach of the Year Paul Royal, finished atop the conference standings in 2011. The Explorers went undefeated in the conference (7-0-2), but were eliminated in the Championship semifinals by Massachusetts. La Salle's top returning players include Rookie of the Year Kelsey Haycook and first team All-Conference selections Renee Washington and Jess Hopton.
In its inaugural season with the Atlantic 10, VCU places fourth in the predicted order of finish, followed by Massachusetts (fifth), Charlotte (sixth), St. Bonaventure (seventh), Fordham (eight) and Saint Louis (ninth). Butler, also making its A-10 debut, comes in at 10th, while Xavier is predicted 11th, followed by Rhode Island (12th), Saint Joseph's (13th), George Washington (14th), Duquesne (15th) and Temple (16th).
The newly expanded eight-team A-10 Women's Soccer Championship will be held November 1-4 at the University of Rhode Island's Soccer Complex in Kingston, R.I.
2012 A-10 Women's Soccer Predicted Order of Finish (2011 record)
1. Dayton (19-4-0, 7-2-0 A-10)
2. Richmond (13-5-3, 7-1-1 A-10)
3. La Salle (15-2-3, 7-0-2 A-10)
4. VCU (9-8-4, 6-2-3 CAA)
5. Massachusetts (14-5-2, 6-2-1 A-10)
6. Charlotte (7-10-4, 4-4-1 A-10)
7. St. Bonaventure (9-7-4, 4-2-3 A-10)
8. Fordham (8-8-3, 3-4-2 A-10)
9. Saint Louis (5-10-3, 3-5-1 A-10)
10. Butler (8-10-2, 3-5-0 Horizon)
11. Xavier (7-8-3, 2-5-2 A-10)
12. Rhode Island (7-10-2, 2-6-1 A-10)
13. Saint Joseph's (7-7-5, 2-4-3 A-10)
14. George Washington (5-12-2, 2-5-2 A-10)
15. Duquesne (3-14-1, 2-7-0 A-10)
16. Temple (5-12-1, 2-6-1 A-10)