Women’s Soccer Claims Eighth in MAAC Preseason Poll

EDISON, N.J. – The Quinnipiac University women's soccer team was selected to finish eighth in the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced by the league office on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The Bobcats, who have advanced to postseason play in three of their last five seasons, will look to turn some heads in their first season in the MAAC.

Fairfield University was picked as a close favorite to win the MAAC title. The Stags were 11-6-2 last season, including 8-1 in league action to earn a share of the MAAC Regular Season title. Fairfield earned 115 first place votes, narrowly edging runner-up Marist (113) by two votes. Marist was 15-7 in 2012, establishing a school record for victories. Monmouth (86), also in its first season in the MAAC, finished third in the preseason poll, followed by Rider (69), Niagara (68), Siena (64), Iona (62), Quinnipiac (59), Canisius (45), Manhattan (32) and Saint Peter's (13).

MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rk. Team Points
1 Fairfield 115
2 Marist 113
3 Monmouth 86
4 Rider 69
5 Niagara 68
6 Siena 64
7 Iona 62
8 Quinnipiac 59
9 Canisius 45
10 Manhattan 32
11 Saint Peter's 13

The Red Foxes' Epstein, who scored eight goals and tallied 20 points while earning first-team All-MAAC honors, was the choice for Preseason Player of the Year. Epstein hails from Jericho, N.Y.

The Bobcats finished the 2012 campaign with an overall mark of 9-6-2 and a 5-4-1 record in their last season in the NEC.  The Bobcats return 18 players from last year's defensive team that tallied eight shutouts on the year. The team returns 2012 Women's Soccer Player of the year Taylor Healey, who played in all 17 games last season while starting in 13 of them. Healey had two goals on the year but was the most consistent back for a Bobcats team that tied Western Illinois for 42nd in the nation with a 0.471 shutout percentage and finished 34th in the nation in goals against average (0.737).

In addition to the return of Healey, head coach Dave Clark will bring back midfielders/defenders Kat Young and Becky Kiting. Young will return for her junior year after playing in all 17 games and starting 10 games as a sophomore. Kiting will help aid the back line of defense in her senior campaign. Kiting started all 17 games last year and had two game winning goals for the Bobcats including one against Mount St Mary's (10/14) in the 106th minute.  

Expected to chime in on the offensive end will be incoming freshman Jess Fontaine and junior midfielder Jess Lavoie. Fontaine who was one of the most sought after recruits in Connecticut is expected to make immediate impact on the midfield/forward position. Jess Lavoie enters her junior campaign after playing all 17 games and starting 16 as a sophomore.

With the departure of goal keeper and two time defending team player of the year Jill Kelley to graduation it is expected that sophomore Natalia Grodzki will take her place. Grodzki played in four games for the Bobcats last season starting three of them while allowing just two goals. Grodzki finished with a 1-0-2 record, a 0.846 save percentage and a 0.540 goals against average.

MAAC Preseason All-MAAC Team

Player Position Team
Amanda Epstein Forward Marist
Brianna Smith Forward Canisius
Dana Costello Forward Monmouth
Brittany Pfaff Forward Siena
Haillie Price Forward Niagara
Rycke Guiney Midfielder Marist
Nikki Stanton Midfielder Fairfield
Alexandra Baca Midfielder Monmouth
Jennifer Meier Midfielder Rider
Tara Ballay Midfielder Rider
Carly Beyar Midfielder Fairfield
Kylee McIntosh Back Marist
Megan  O'Brien Back Fairfield
Sali Ayinde Back Iona
Hayley Besaw Back Niagara
Alexa Freguletti Back Monmouth
Becca Kape Back Rider
Marissa Mertens Back Marist
Danielle Kennedy Back Niagara
Anna Grant Back Siena
Kathleen Early Goalie Fairfield

MAAC Preaseason Player of the Year

Amanda Epstein Forward Marist

The quest for its first MAAC title and second ever trip to the Division 1 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament begins on Sunday, August 25 against BIG EAST power Georgetown University. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. at North Kehoe Field in Washington, DC. After a challenging non-conference slate, the Bobcats open their first ever MAAC conference play against the Peacocks of Saint Peter's University. MAAC competition commences on Saturday, September 21 at 1 p.m.

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2013 Quinnipiac Women's Soccer Schedule will also be available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.