PAWTUCKET, R.I. – With the women's soccer season set to begin on Friday the Little East Conference has announced their annual preseason coaches' poll. On this year's poll the Beacons were picked to finish fifth having earned a total of 21 points.
Western Connecticut State University was picked to win the LEC in 2017, having earned three of the eight first place votes and 44 points. Eastern Connecticut State University was picked to finish second after earning six first place votes and 43 points. Keene State College earned 42 points and two first place votes to round out the top-3 spots in the LEC. UMass Dartmouth was picked fourth after earning 30 points. Plymouth State (20 pts.), Rhode Island College (14 pts.), and Southern Maine (10 pts.) closed out the preseason poll.
After a tough 2016 campaign, head coach Amy Zombeck is looking to lead her Beacons down a new path. With a strong combination of veteran and new talent, the Beacons are primed to once again take their place as one of the top teams in the Little East.
The Beacons will look to junior goalkeeper Alyssa Fugiel (Easthampton, Mass.) to anchor the defensive third. In her previous two seasons on the harbor campus, the Easthampton native has posted seven shutouts and has a combined 372 saves and a 1.69 goals against average.
Senior Kerri Alexander (Carver, Mass.) and junior Jaclyn O'Grady (Somers, Conn.) will look to spark the Beacons offense in 2017, while senior Jessi Beverlin (Eagle River, Alaska) will once again be the team's top playmaker. The Beacons will also look to All-Conference selection Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) to help suppor the midfield.
The Beacons will begin their 2017 season on Friday at Johnson and Wales University at 6 p.m.
2017 Little East Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Western Connecticut State – 44 (3)
2. East Connecticut State – 43 (3)
3. Keene State – 42 (2)
4. UMass Dartmouth - 30
5. UMass Boston - 21
6. Plymouth State - 20
7. Rhode Island College – 14
8. Southern Maine - 10