MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- Dominican University received 25 of a possible 26 first-place votes and is the runaway favorite to capture a second-consecutive Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) women's soccer crown according to the league's annual preseason poll released Thursday.
The NACC preseason poll is voted on by the NACC's head coaches and athletics communications professionals.
Dominican (18-3 overall, 11-0 NACC), which did not concede a goal in league play en route to the program's first NACC crown, topped the preseason poll with 337 points. Illinois Institute of Technology snagged the remaining first-place tally and is second with 301 points after finishing second in its maiden NACC campaign, while Concordia University Wisconsin (third, 282 points) and Milwaukee School of Engineering (fourth, 274 points) round out the top four.
Aurora University (203), Concordia University Chicago (193), Benedictine University (191), Marian University (187), Wisconsin Lutheran College (120), Edgewood College (109), Lakeland University (89), Alverno College (47), and Rockford University (33) round out the poll.
|2019 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||Points||2018 Record|
|1.||Dominican (25)||337||18-3-0, 11-0-0 NACC|
|2.||Illinois Tech (1)||301||16-5-1, 9-2-0 NACC|
|3.||Concordia Wisconsin||282||11-10-0, 8-3-0 NACC|
|4.||MSOE||274||10-12-0, 7-4-0 NACC|
|5.||Aurora||203||5-8-3, 4-5-2 NACC|
|6.||Concordia Chicago||193||6-13-0, 6-5-0 NACC|
|7.||Benedictine||191||8-9-1, 5-5-1 NACC|
|8.||Marian||187||9-10-1, 5-5-1 NACC|
|9.||Wisconsin Lutheran||120||7-12-0, 4-7-0 NACC|
|10.||Edgewood||109||3-12-2, 2-8-1 NACC|
|11.||Lakeland||89||6-11-2, 2-8-1 NACC|
|12.||Alverno||47||5-14-0, 0-11-0 NACC|
|13.||Rockford||33||4-14-0, n/a NACC|
Hello, Old Friend: The 2019 season sees the return of Rockford to NACC play. The Regents had competed as an independent the past five seasons.
New Coaches: Rockford will also have one of the league's two new coaches on the sideline as they re-enter the conference as Breena Proctor takes over for Kevin Smerko. Proctor spent the last two seasons as head women's coach at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Derek Helmer moves from the men's sideline to the women's sideline at Edgewood, replacing longtime Eagle mentor Tim Alexander. Alexander retired in the offseason after 26 years and over 300 victories with the Edgewood women's program. Helmer had compiled a 33-37-2 mark with the Edgewood men over the past four seasons.
2019 Schedule: The season kicks off Friday, August 30 as 12 of 13 programs are in action. Concordia Wisconsin is the lone holdout and will get its year underway two days later - Sunday, Sept. 1 - with a trip to Franklin College.
The conference schedule kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 24 with one game - Dominican at Rockford - and concludes with six games on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
NACC Tournament: The top six teams in the final regular-season standings will qualify for the NACC Women's Soccer Tournament, which opens with a pair of first-round games Sunday, Nov. 3. Semifinals are slated for Wednesday, Nov. 6, and the final for Saturday, Nov. 9. The NACC Tournament champion will receive the league's automatic berth in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship.