WAYNE – With just under three weeks until the Wayne State College women’s soccer team is set to take the pitch, the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was announced earlier this week.
According to a release from the Wayne State Athletics office, WSC was picked eighth in the 2021 Preseason NSIC Soccer Coaches’ Poll released Monday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Wildcat senior forward Megan Phillips was selected as the WSC Offensive Player to Watch this season while sophomore defender Haley Hoffman was tabbed as the Wildcat Defensive Player to Watch.
Wayne State collected 109 points in voting conducted by league coaches. The Wildcats are coming off an eighth-place finish in the NSIC during the 2019 season, posting records of 6-9-4 overall and 6-7-2 in league play while qualifying for the NSIC Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season. The 2020 NSIC soccer season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Minnesota State was voted as the team to beat in the NSIC this season, receiving 218 points and nine first-place votes. Augustana followed in second at 202 points and three first-place votes with Concordia-St. Paul third with 200 points and the remaining four first-place votes. Bemidji State (194 points) and St. Cloud State (165 points) rounded out the top five teams.
University of Mary was sixth at 155 points with Winona State seventh (117 pts.) and Wayne State eighth (109 pts.). Southwest Minnesota State and Minot State followed closely with 106 and 104 points respectively with Minnesota Duluth 11th at 103. MSU Moorhead (66), Northern State (55), Sioux Falls (52), Upper Iowa (48) and Minnesota Crookston (26) closed out the coaches’ poll.
Megan Phillips, a 5’7” senior forward from Gillette, Wyoming (Campbell County HS), is the top returning scorer for the Wildcats with two goals while leading the 2019 Wildcat squad in shots on goal with 27.
Haley Hoffman, a 5’6” sophomore defender from Simi Valley, California (Simi Valley HS), has transitioned from forward to defender and is coming off a strong 2021 spring season.
The Wayne State College women’s soccer program will open the 2021 season on Sunday, September 5 visiting Northwest Missouri State in a 1 p.m. contest.