PAWTUCKET, R.I. – One year after advancing to the conference championship, women's soccer was picked to finish third on the 2019 Little East Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was announced by the conference office.
The Beacons earned a combined 48 points and their first, first place vote since the 2015 preseason poll. Their third place preseason ranking is their highest since 2014 season, when they were picked to finish second that year.
Picked to repeat as conference champions were the Colonials of Western Connecticut State University, who defeated UMB by the final of 2-0 in the LEC title game last season. WCSU earned 61 total points and six of the nine first place votes. Eastern Connecticut State University was picked second after collecting 56 points and one first place vote. The Beacons defeated the Warriors in the semi-final round last year by the final of 1-0.
The University of Southern Maine rounded out the top-4 on the preseason poll after earning 36 total points and the final first place vote. Castleton University came in at fifth with 35 points, followed by UMass Dartmouth in sixth with 30 points. Keene State College is ranked seventh (25 pts), with Plymouth State University (22 pts), and Rhode Island College (11 pts) earning the bottom two spots.
Last season, UMass Boston which consisted of 13 freshman and newcomers recorded an impressive 14-7-1 record, and a 5-2-1 mark in Little East play. Head coach Amy Zombeck will look to lead the Beacons back to the title match for the fifth time in program history in 2019.
Now in her 15th season on the harbor campus, Zombeck will look to All-Region honoree Alli Crawford (Kingston, Mass.) to anchor the Beacons midfield. Last season, Crawford finished tied for first on the team with 20 points. UMB will also look to All-Conference selection Mary Jo Murphy (Worcester, Mass.), who was on the team's most versatile and consistent players moving from the offensive side of the field to the back line.
The Beacons will being their 2019 season on Friday, August 30 at 5 pm at Smith College. They will then make their home debut on Saturday, August 31 against Wentworth Institute of Technology at 2 pm. UMB will begin Little East play on Saturday, September 21 against Castleton University at 2 pm at James Cotter Field in Boston.
|2019 LEC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|9.||Rhode Island College||11|