Nine Conference Titles | Seven NCAA Tournament Appearances | Five All-Americans | One Academic All-American | 2015 Final Four | 2014 Elite Eight
@CentreWSoccer Ranked 18th in NSCAA Preseason Top 25
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CentreColonels.com) – Earlier this week, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America released its preseason national rankings for Division III women's soccer and Centre will begin their 2017 campaign ranked at number 18 after earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year.
Centre posted a 19-1-3 record in the 2016 season, spending the majority of the season ranked in the top ten after the Colonels' historic 2015 Final Four run. The Colonels won their fifth consecutive Southern Athletic Association championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Hardin-Simmons on penalty kicks in the second round.
Washington University earned the top ranking in this year's poll, with Messiah, Chicago, William Smith and Trinity (Texas) rounding out the top five.
Under the leadership of 14th-year head coach Jay Hoffman, Centre had winning streaks of 11 and eight matches during the 2016 season and ran the table in the SAA, going a perfect 11-0 in regular season and tournament play. In the five-year history of the SAA, Centre has won all five conference tournament championships and four of the five regular season crowns. Hoffman was named SAA Coach of the Year in 2016, and alongside associate head coach Jessica Chisley, was named the 2016 South Atlantic Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
"It is an honor to be recognized with such wonderful programs," said Hoffman. "The players work hard each year and it is great to see that their hard work continues to pay off."
Along the way, Centre outscored opponents 68-11, with the 11 goals allowed representing a program record. The Colonels recorded 14 shutouts in 2016 and only allowed multiple goals in the same game on two occasions.
Centre will be looking to replace two-time All-American Destinie Graves, All-American Tori Dillard and two-time All-South Atlantic goalkeeper Olivia Alford, but the Colonels return four All-SAA performers from a season ago, led by All-South Atlantic defender Jessie Turner (Versailles, Ky.) and midfielder Meghan Paynter (Danville, Ky.), as well as senior defender Mackenzie Kern (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior midfielder Maddy Coleman (Georgetown, Ky.). Alana Hughes (Louisville, Ky.), who was one of the top freshman goal scorers in the conference last season, will also be returning for her sophomore campaign.
The Colonels will begin their 2017 season on Sept. 1 as they open brand new Amend Field with a contest against Wittenberg at 6:30 P.M.