2016 MAC Women's Soccer Take a look at the 12 MAC women's soccer team previews for the upcoming season and how they ranked in the preseason poll.

EAST DIVISION

1. KENT STATE 🏆

Heading into the 2016 regular season, the Golden Flashes will rely on a well-versed group of veterans while looking for considerable contributions from their six freshman. In total there are 16 returning letterwinners from the 2015 squad that finished the season with an 11-6-3 (7-4 MAC) record.

🏆 *Indicates predicted Tournament Champion (three-way tie)

2. MIAMI

Miami returns eight starters and 13 letter winners from a year ago. The 2015 RedHawks went 11-8-2 with a 6-4-1 record in MAC play, which was good for fifth in the league. The RedHawks stellar defense, which ranked 21st nationally with a school-record 0.65 goals against average, anchored a deep postseason run that ultimately ended in the MAC Tournament finals.

3. BUFFALO

The Bulls will be aiming to advance to their second MAC championship game in the last three seasons while returning 18 total letter winners, including 13 that appeared in at least 15 matches last season as UB advanced to the MAC semifinals. The Bulls also return three of their top four scorers from a season ago in Julia Benati, Celina Carrero and Carissima Cutrona.

4. OHIO

Last season, Ohio finished with a 5-13 record, going 3-4 at home and 2-9 on the road. The Bobcats tallied 17 goals in 18 games on the season, averaging .94 goals per game. Ohio also tallied 11.5 shots per game and 69 total corner kicks. Hannah Jaggers recorded one goal on the season as well as 31 shots while Alexis Milesky recorded four goals on 26 shots leading Ohio in the 2015 season.

5. AKRON

Under the guidance of second-year head coach Noreen Herlihy, the Zips return 14 letterwinners including second-team All-MAC selection Annabelle Hegeman and last years leading goal scorer Sarah Sivic.

6. BOWLING GREEN

Bowling Green and fourth-year head coach Lindsay Basalyga return 10 starters and a total of 19 letterwinners from last year's team and added seven new Falcons in the 2016 recruiting class. Despite the loss of just one letterwinner from last season, BGSU is still stacked with youth as 13 members of the 26 players on the 2016 roster are either sophomores or freshmen.

WEST DIVISION

1. BALL STATE 🏆

Coming off a Mid-American Conference regular season championship last fall, the Cardinals have their sights set high again this year. The team returns 14 letterwinners, highlighted by All-MAC defenders Leah Mattingly and Lorina White and All-MAC goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel.

🏆 *Indicates predicted Tournament Champion (three-way tie)

2. WESTERN MICHIGAN

2015 MAC Tournament Champions will look to defend their title in 2016. What WMU does return is its rock between the sticks in Stephanie Heber. In her first two seasons after transferring from Seton Hall she has racked up a 24-8-5 record with 20.5 shutouts. The back line is also anchored by veteran center back Megan Ross and outside back Alyssa Smith. Western Michigan returns its top scorer in Emma Kahn. Kahn, who enters her junior season, netted 12 goals in 20 games, including a team-best four game-winning goals. WMU's returners accounted for 24 of the team's 38 goals last season.

3. CENTRAL MICHIGAN 🏆

CMU graduated just one starter and finished 6-10-3, bowing to Buffalo, on penalty kicks, in a Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal game in 2015. The Chippewas finished 5-5-1 in MAC play and in third place in the West Division. The six seniors – Christen Chiesa, Kaylin Hoomaian, Kristen Knutson, Samantha Maher, Taylor Potts and Eliza Van de Kerkhove – form the veteran core.

🏆 *Indicates predicted Tournament Champion (three-way tie)

4. EASTERN MICHIGAN (TIE)

With the loss of five seniors, all of which started, the Eastern Michigan University women's soccer team will rely on a mix of veterans and newcomers to take EMU back to the postseason in 2016. Coming off a campaign that left them one win shy of the conference tournament, the Eagles will remain under the direction of longtime head coach Scott Hall.

4. TOLEDO (tie)

Toledo returns 16 letterwinners this fall, including seven starters from last year's squad that finished 9-12-0 overall, 5-6-0 in the MAC, and qualified for the MAC Tournament. Most notably, junior midfielder Isa Echeverri, a two-time second-team all-league selection, who earlier this month represented her home country of Colombia in the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be the Rockets' top offensive threat.

6. NORTHERN ILLINOIS

NIU Returns a very strong corps for the 2016 season, especially in the center of the entire pitch. From back to front, junior goalkeeper Amy Annala, senior defender Alex Elias, junior midfielder Lauren Gierman and sophomore forward Taylor Sarver all have MAC honors to their credit in their collegiate careers at NIU and will look to lead the Huskies, including the eight new freshman, to new heights.

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