August 15, 2008

Women's Soccer Picked Fifth in NEC Pre-Season Poll

Aug. 15, 2008

FAIRFIELD, CT - The Sacred Heart University women's soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the pre-season Northeast Conference coaches poll released today. Monmouth University, the defending conference champs, were selected as the favorite, receiving six of the ten first-place votes.

Central Connecticut State got on first-place vote and was picked second. LIU also received a first-place nod and picked third, while Quinnipiac got the other two top votes and finished in fourth.

The Pioneers qualified for the NEC Tournament for the seventh straight season in 2007 with a 4-2-3 conference record. Third-year head coach Kim Banner has the majority of the starters from that team, as well as twelve promising newcomers.

Returning midfielder, Lindsay Elliott (Orange, CT) finished her freshman season third on the team in points with one goal and three assists. Ashley Testani (Monroe, CT) will also return in the midfield. Testani completed her sophomore season with a lone goal, which happened to be the game-winner in a 2-1 decision over CCSU in the NEC Tournament semifinals, advancing the Pioneers to the championship for the first time since 2004.

Senior defender Janice Rodriguez (Clinton, CT/Morgan School) will anchor the Pioneer backline along with sophomore keeper Meghan Reichelt (Selden, NY/Centereach), who posted a .761 save percentage as a rookie.

The Pioneers open the season on August 23 on the road at the University of Maine.