Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's soccer team is slated to finish seventh in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association this season according to the MIAA preseason coaches poll, which was released on Tuesday (August 21) morning.
We are excited to get the season going," said first-year head coach Meghan Gorsuch, "The team has been improving since they've all returned and we're committed to keep pushing in that direction to see what we can become."
The Scots graduated eight players from last year's 6-10-2 team, including its top three goal scorers. It will look to returners Makenzie Rajewski (Midland, Mich. / Midland), Lexi Moyer (Suttons Bay, Mich. / Traverse City West), Kristina Berzkalns (Byron Center, Mich. / Grandville) and Lauren Sollestre (Farmington Hills, Mich. / Marian) for continuity; those four players combined for 15 points last season.
"We may have lost a lot of great players who did a lot for our program, but the returners are eager to prove themselves."
The team returns 26 players this year and adds 10 newcomers, as well as two new assistant coaches.
"I'm happy with our new additions," said Gorsuch. "Everyone has come in ready to learn and be a part of the new culture, that's all you can really ask for as a head coach."
Last year's conference champion Hope is first in the poll with seven first-place votes after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. It is followed by Adrian and Kalamazoo, which received one first-place vote each. Calvin and Albion round out the top five while Olivet in sixth, just ahead of Alma, after finishing second in the conference with an 11-5 record last season. Trine and Saint Mary's are placed eighth and ninth, respectively.
Alma begins its season on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Mount St. Joseph University (OH) at 1 p.m. Its first home game is on Wednesday, Sept. 19 against Adrian in a non-conference matchup. This is the first year of the reformatted MIAA conference schedule where all programs will play each other once as opposed to twice and the top six teams make the conference tournament