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2018 MEC Women's Soccer Poll

This season marks the first for divisional play in women's soccer as 10 teams sponsor the sport with the addition of Glenville State in 2018. Not surprisingly, the only two teams that have won regular season tournament championships, Notre Dame and West Virginia Wesleyan, are the favorites to win division titles this season.

NDC's Sara Grossman

In the North Division, Notre Dame finished first with 45 points and nine out of 10 first-place votes. The Falcons graduated decorated playmaker Alexis Manoa, but three other first team All-MEC players return in forward Janelle Bernal, midfielder Katarina Doncevic and defender Sarah Grossman. The Falcons led the league in scoring last year with 2.0 goals per game while also posting six shutouts last year. Notre Dame advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history last season before falling in penalties.

Fairmont State's Kellie Norris and West Liberty's Kaitlin deVries.

Picked second in the division is Fairmont State with 32 points. First team All-MEC defender Kellie Norris is back for her second season with the Fighting Falcons. The team is in just its fourth-year of existence and is coming off a program-best five wins last season. West Liberty was picked to finish third in the division with 28 points and received the remaining first-place vote. Two-year starter Caitlin deVries is one of six starters back for the Hilltoppers as they try to get back to the MEC Tournament. Wheeling Jesuit (22 points) and Urbana (16 points) round out the North Division Poll.

WVWC's Ashlee Schumacher

West Virginia Wesleyan is picked to finish first in the South Division. The Bobcats, winners of last year's MEC regular season and tournament titles, are under the direction of first-year head coach Richard Owens. WVWC graduated its defensive anchor, Mary Cooper, but still returns a strong returning nucleus that includes four players that received All-MEC honors, including first team All-MEC selections goalkeeper Ashlee Schumacher and midfielder Marissa Zetty. WVWC had one of the top defenses in the country last year giving up just seven goals the entire season on its way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Concord is picked to finish second in the South Division with 37 points (two first-place votes). CU had a major breakthrough last year winning 10 games, increasing its win total by seven from the previous year, and finished third in the MEC to make the conference tournament. The Mountain Lions return each of their top five scorers from last season, including first team All-MEC pick Pilar Elias (7G, 5A) and last year's MEC Freshman of the Year Sarah Hill (7G, 1A). Morgan Carmichael, also a first team All-MEC selection last year as a freshman, returns to lead the defense.

UC's Alana Mikulis

Charleston follows closely in the South Division poll with 34 points, including a pair of first-place votes. The Golden Eagles return dynamic pieces in the midfield with senior Marlee Coleman working more on the defensive end, while sophomore Alana Mikulis went forward to notch four goals and five assists in 2017.

Shepherd, under the direction of first-year head coach Emily Hester, is picked to finish fourth and will be looking to make the conference tournament for the fifth time in six years. Glenville State will begin its first season of varsity women's soccer this season and rounds out the South Division poll in sixth.

2018 Preseason Poll

North Division

  1. Notre Dame -- 45 (9)
  2. Fairmont State -- 32
  3. West Liberty -- 28 (1)
  4. Wheeling Jesuit -- 22
  5. Urbana -- 16

South Division

  1. West Virginia Wesleyan -- 40 (6)
  2. Concord -- 37 (2)
  3. Charleston -- 34 (2)
  4. Shepherd -- 21
  5. Glenville State -- 14

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