LIVONIA, Mich. – The Madonna University women's soccer team has been picked fifth in the preseason coaches' poll as announced by the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. First-year head coach Paul Patton and the Crusaders begin the 2017 campaign with five consecutive road contests beginning with a trip to Huntington University on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.
Reigning NAIA National Champion University of Northwestern Ohio is picked to repeat as the WHAC regular-season champion. The Racers received all 12 first-place votes after winning the last three WHAC titles. Siena Heights holds the most conference titles with nine (1992-93, 95, 97-99, 2002, 09-10) and sits in second with 133 points. Aquinas received 115 points for third and claimed championships in 1996 and 2011.
The conference features two new teams this season. Rochester joins the WHAC as a full member in 16 sports and UM-Dearborn is embarking on its inaugural women's soccer season. The preseason poll was conducted using ballots from each of the head coaches in the league.
The Crusaders have won exactly five conference games each of the past five season while capturing double-digit wins overall. The team hopes to improve the conference mark this year with six of the 11 WHAC contests being played at the Madonna Athletics Complex. Six of the seven non-conference contests are on the road, with the final contest against Ferris State University being the home opener on Sept. 20.
The preseason poll was based on votes from all head coaches in the conference.
Rank Institution 2016 Points
1 UNOH (12) 9-1-0 144
2 Siena Heights 7-3-0 133
3 Aquinas 6-3-1 115
4 Lawrence Tech 5-5-0 101
5 Madonna 5-4-1 94
6 Concordia 5-5-0 88
7 Indiana Tech 4-6-0 69
8 Cornerstone 3-7-0 67
9 Lourdes 1-9-0 46
10 Rochester --- 41
11 Marygrove 0-10-0 24
12 UM-Dearborn --- 15
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