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CAA women’s soccer preseason poll, all-conference team announced

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RICHMOND, Va. (Via CAA) – William & Mary was selected as the preseason favorite in CAA women’s soccer while James Madison senior forward Ashley Herndon was chosen as the 2016 CAA Preseason Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s 10 head coaches.

The Tribe received six first-place votes and 76 points in the poll while defending champion James Madison was next with 73 points, which included a pair of first-place tallies. Hofstra also picked up two first-place votes and was third with 69 points, and Northeastern was fourth with 54 points. UNCW (45), Delaware (41), Drexel (35), Elon (23), Towson (17) and College of Charleston (16) rounded out the group.

The CAA is coming off one of the best seasons in conference history as a league-record four teams – Hofstra, JMU, UNCW and W&M – earned berths in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.

William & Mary posted a 14-5-3 overall record, earned a share of the 2015 CAA regular-season Championship after going 7-1-1, and received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Tribe advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after edging UCF on penalty kicks in the opener before falling at Florida. William & Mary returns Preseason All-CAA defender Clara Logsdonand midfielder Rachel Moore. Logsdon started all 22 games for the Tribe on the backline and played all 2,046 minutes to earn a spot on the All-CAA first team. Moore was tabbed to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region third team and the All-CAA second team after posting six goals and an assist.

JMU went 14-7-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the CAA last season. The Dukes won the 2015 CAA Championship in dramatic fashion as the No. 4 seed, topping William & Mary, 3-2. JMU became the first team in CAA history to overcome a two-goal deficit in the championship final to win the league title. The Dukes were led by Herndon, who posted 14 goals, including eight game-winners, and 34 points en route to All-CAA first team honors. Also returning for JMU is preseason All-CAA selection Allie Bunner who tallied a career-high eight goals last season to earned All-CAA second team accolades.

+Read: NCAA Women’s Soccer Commitment Announcements: August 2016

Hofstra went 13-6-2 overall, earned a piece of the regular season championship with a CAA record of 7-1-1, and secured an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Pride advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after clipping Georgetown on penalty kicks before falling to Rutgers. Hofstra, which is receiving votes in the NSCAA Preseason Top 25 Poll, returns preseason All-CAA midfielder Jill Mulholland and defender Emily Agudelo. Mulholland earned All-CAA first team status after finishing with seven goals and 17 points while Agudelo started all 21 games in the backfield and finished with six points on two goals and two assists.

Northeastern went 11-8-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the CAA last season. First-year Head Coach Ashley Phillips returns three preseason All-CAA selections in junior forward Kayla Cappuzzo (5g, 3a), senior defender Mackenzie Dowd (6g, 2a) and junior midfielder Hannah Lopiccolo (6g, 1a).

UNCW’s Carolyn Huddy earned Preseason All-CAA honors as the top returning goalkeeper. Huddy started all 23 games last season, posting a 1.12 GAA with 82 saves and 10 shutouts. Rounding out the Preseason All-CAA Team were Drexel sophomore and 2015 CAA Rookie of the Year Vanessa Kara and Delaware senior forward Natalie Zelenky, both of whom notched 11 goals and two assists last season.

The 2016 season kicks off on August 19 with all 10 CAA teams in action. The top six teams at season’s end will qualify for the 2016 CAA Championship. The quarterfinals are slated for October 30 while the semifinals and final will be held November 4-6 at the home site of the highest seed.

2016 CAA Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Team Pts (1st Place Votes)
1. William & Mary 76 (6)
2. James Madison 73 (2)
3. Hofstra 69 (2)
4. Northeastern 54
5. UNCW 45
6. Delaware 41
7. Drexel 36
8. Elon 23
9. Towson 17
10. College of Charleston 16
2016 Preseason All-CAA Women’s Soccer Team
Name School Pos. Cl. Hometown
Kayla Cappuzzo Northeastern F Jr. Merrick, N.Y.
Ashley Herndon James Madison F Sr. Ashburn, Va.
Natalie Zelenky Delaware F Sr. Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Allie Bunner James Madison M Sr. Bristow, Va.
Hannah Lopiccolo Northeastern M Jr. Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Rachel Moore William & Mary M Jr. Vienna, Va.
Jill Mulholland Hofstra M Sr. Levittown, N.Y.
Vanessa Kara Drexel F/M So. Burlington, N.J.
Emily Agudelo Hofstra D Sr. Long Beach, N.Y.
Mackenzie Dowd Northeastern D Sr. Gig Harbor, Wash.
Clara Logsdon William & Mary D Sr. Clifton, Va.
Carolyn Huddy UNCW GK Sr. Huntersville, N.C.
2016 CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Ashley Herndon, James Madison
Honorable Mention: Madeline Anderson, Hofstra (D); Tori Baliatico, Elon (F); Elysse Branton, William & Mary (D/M); Carina Deandreis, Northeastern (M); Kristin Desmond, Hofstra (F); Sami Grasso, William & Mary (F); Madison Melnick, UNCW (D); Natalia Pinkney, Towson (F); Rio Speller-Drews (D), College of Charleston; Jennie Sroba, James Madison (D)

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