WAYNE – With three exhibition games slated for late August the 2018 Preseason NSIC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll was released Thursday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota.
The Wayne State College women’s soccer program was picked to place 12th during the poll. Wildcat seniors Christina Stasi and Natalie Rech were listed as Players to Watch selected by the NSIC.
Minnesota State is the preseason favorite to win the NSIC with 220 points and 12 first-place votes. Bemidji State was second with 206 points and two first-place votes while Augustana came in third with 194 points and one first-place vote. Minot State collected the final first-place vote in fourth with 189 points with Concordia-St. Paul fifth at 156 points.
Minnesota Duluth was sixth with 146 points, edging University of Mary in seventh at 142. Winona State (138), St. Cloud State (116) and Northern State (99) fill out the top 10 teams.
Upper Iowa was listed 11th with 76 points followed by Wayne State and Sioux Falls with 69 points each. MSU Moorhead (51), Minnesota Crookston (29) and Southwest Minnesota State (20) round out the coaches’ poll.
Christina Stasi, a 5-5 senior forward, is listed as Wayne State’s Offensive Player to Watch. A graduate of Millard North High School, Stasi led the Wildcats in scoring last season with four goals and one assist for nine points while playing in 18 games with 17 starts. Her success on the field in the 2017 season was rewarded with an All-NSIC Honorable Mention , her second in three years (2015).
Natalie Rech, a 5-4 defender, was selected as the Wildcat Defensive Player to Watch this season. The three-year starter and Blair native appeared in all 18 matches last season and recorded one goal and two assists while ranking third on the team in minutes played (1,528).
The NSIC Preseason Offensive Player of The Year is senior forward Racheal Norton from Bemidji State University while the NSIC Preseason Defensive Player of The Year is senior defender Rebekah Thoresen of Augustana.
WSC is set to play in three exhibition games beginning at Concordia-Seward on Saturday, August 18 at 2 p.m. The ‘Cats will also host Briar Cliff on Sunday, August 19 at 4 p.m. and at South Dakota State University on Friday, August 24 at 6 p.m.
Wayne State opens the 2018 season on Saturday, September 1 facing Montana State – Billings at the Colorado Christian Tournament in Lakewood, Colorado at 11 a.m.
2018 NSIC Preseason Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll
- Minnesota State (12) 220 pts.
- Bemidji State (2) 206 pts.
- Augustana (1) 194 pts.
- Minot State (1) 189 pts.
- Concordia-St. Paul 156 pts.
- Minnesota Duluth 146 pts.
- University of Mary 142 pts.
- Winona State 138 pts.
- St. Cloud State 116 pts.
- Northern State 99 pts.
- Upper Iowa 76 pts.
- Wayne State 69 pts.
- Sioux Falls 69 pts.
- MSU Moorhead 51 pts.
- Minnesota Crookston 29 pts.
- Southwest Minn. State 20 pts.