GLIAC Coaches Pick Grand Valley State & Tiffin to Win 2010 Women’s Soccer Divisional Titles

GLIAC Coaches Pick Grand Valley State & Tiffin  to Win 2010 Women’s Soccer Divisional Titles

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BAY CITY, Mich. -- The head women’s soccer coaches of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) chose Grand Valley State University and Tiffin University to win the 2010 GLIAC women’s soccer North Division and South Division titles, respectively, in preseason balloting.

2010 GLIAC Women’s Soccer
Preseason Coaches’ Poll

School (first-place votes)


North Division


Grand Valley State (5)



Saginaw Valley State (1)



Northern Michigan 






Ferris State



Michigan Tech.


South Division


Tiffin (3)






Findlay (1)



Ohio Dominican (1)



Lake Erie


    The league's 11 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.

    The Lakers outdistanced Saginaw Valley State University by four points in the North Division voting (25-21) and garnered five first-place votes. GVSU, which has won the last five GLIAC titles,  claimed the NCAA Division II Championship last fall, downing Cal State-Dominguez Hills, 1-0, in the title match in Tampa, Fla.

    SVSU posted the second-best league record in 2009 and received the lone remaining first-place nod for a second place poll finish.  The Cardinals managed two ties and a loss to GVSU last season, including a 1-1 match in the GLIAC Tournament final, which the Lakers claimed on penalty kicks. SVSU also earned an NCAA D-II postseason bid.

    Northern Michigan University and Northwood University tied for third in the North Division with 15 points each.  Ferris State University tallied nine points to place fifth, followed by the first-year varsity program at Michigan Technological University in sixth with five points.  

    Tiffin earned three first-place votes in South Division voting, finishing three points ahead of both Ashland University and  the University of Findlay, which tied with 11 points.  The Oilers also earned a first-place nod

      Ohio Dominican University, entering its first year in the GLIAC, placed fourth with 9 points and one first-place vote, followed by the league’s third new team, Lake Erie College, with five points.

    GLIAC women’s soccer teams open play on Thursday, Sept. 2 with conference play beginning Wednesday, Sept. 8.  The 2010 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Tournament will begin with quarterfinals on Nov. 2  on campus sites, with the semifinals and final held on Nov. 5 & 7 on the campus of the No. 1 seed.

 -- The following are previews of all 11 GLIAC Women's Soccer teams for the 2010 season --

Ashland University
Head Coach:  Glenn Francis
(First season)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  Tied for 2nd (South)

OVERVIEW: Ashland will look to improve on its 3-13-3 record from a year ago and the Eagles will try and do it under new leadership. Head coach Glenn Francis will take control of the women’s program. It is the first time in school history the men’s and women’s teams will be under separate leadership as Jon Freeman will guide the men’s program. Francis directed the women’s program at West Virginia Wesleyan for the last five seasons and owned a 55-38-5 record. His teams won the conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs in the last three seasons.

    The Eagles will be led on the field by senior midfielder Alicia Van Zanten (Hudson, OH/Hudson) and junior striker Chelsea Hyatt (Grove City, OH/Grove City). Van Zanten, a GLIAC second team selection, scored three goals and added two assists while starting all 19 games last season. Hyatt was the team leader in goals with five on the season. Junior keeper Liz Patrick (Troy, OH/Troy) will man the net for the Eagles. She played in five games last season and carried a 2.28 goals against average.



Ferris State University
Head Coach:  Matt Kellogg
(First season)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 5th (North)



OVERVIEW: FSU enters the 2010 season with hopes of improving upon last year’s three victories and earning a GLIAC Tournament berth under first-year head coach Matt Kellogg. Kellogg, a former assistant at NCAA D-I Morehead State (Ky.), welcomes back 13 letterwinners from 2009 which includes nine starters.

    Junior forward Bri Borgman will lead the offensive charge after compiling a team-leading 22 points on a squad-best 10 goals and two assists in 18 contests en route to achieving All-GLIAC First Team and Daktronics Midwest Region Second Team recognition last fall.  Junior Mekyla Spraggins (0-1=1 in 18 matches) along with senior Kristen March (0-3=3 in 17 matches) are the top returning defenders for the Bulldogs, who posted a 3-13-2 overall record and were a seventh-place best 3-10-1 in the GLIAC a season ago.  Spraggins was tabbed as FSU’s Best Defensive Player in 2009.


University of Findlay
Head Coach:  Andy Smyth
(20th season, 223-142-25)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  Tied for 2nd (South)


OVERVIEW: The University of Findlay women’s soccer team battled injuries last season en route to a 5-11-2 overall record with a 4-8-2 mark in the GLIAC.  They will be looking to stay healthy in 2010 under the guidance of head coach Andy Smyth, who is in his 20th season (223-142-25) with the Oilers.

    Sophomore Emily Beddoes returns after scoring a team-high six goals as well as senior Sara Jones and sophomore Megan Gallaway, who added five and four goals respectively last season.

    Senior Rosie Paris, a three-time second team all-conference performer on defense, returns for Findlay as well while senior Amanda Bachmayer, a second team all-GLIAC pick in 2008, will be back on the field after missing most of last year with an injury.



Grand Valley State University
Head Coach:  Dave DiIanni
(Eighth season, 135-14-8)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 1st (North)


OVERVIEW: GVSU enters the season ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA DII poll after winning the program’s first DII Championship in 2009. Head coach David DiIanni is entering his eighth year in the program with an impressive  winning percentage of .885, which is second among active DII coaches. The Lakers were 13-0-1 in GLIAC play last season, capturingthier fifth-straight GLIAC title. GVSU is returning seven starters and 19 letterwinners from that squad.
   The Lakers return sophomore Ashley Botts (15 goals, 5 assists, 35 points), a first-team All-GLIAC choice in 2009. Botts had a team-high seven game-winning goals and notched the lone goal in the championship match, earning All-Tournament team honors. Senior Kristen Eible (5 goals, 3 assists, 13 points) was named the NCAA  tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player for recording an assist and the game-winning goal in the overtime semifinals match. Also returning for the Lakers is the 2009 GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year, junior Megan Brown.



Lake Erie College
Head Coach:  Jim Buchan
(Third season, 8-24-2)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  5th (South)


OVERVIEW:     Lake Erie College returns six starters as its looks to improve on its 6-12-2 mark from 2009.  Third-year head coach Jim Buchan has totally rebuilt a squad that was hampered by injuries last year and now features just one upperclassman and 12 first-year players.  

    Lake Erie’s top two offensive forces from a season ago, sophomore forward Kaitlyn Holland (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) and sophomore midfielder Valerie Urbanik (North Ridgeville, Ohio/North Ridgeville) both return to form a potent threat on the Storm frontline.  Holland netted eight of the team’s 21 goals last season while Urbanik added five goals and a team-high three assists.  Sophomores Colleen Bednar (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick), Taylor Yurick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio/Olmsted Falls) and Jenna Hanford (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) will look to shore up the Lake Erie defense in front of junior Chelsea Giesen (Grants Pass, Ore./North Valley), who appeared in all 20 games last season, including 15 in goal.


Michigan Technological University

Head Coach:  Michelle Jacob
(First season)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 6th (North)

OVERVIEW: The 2010 season will be the inaugural season for the Michigan Tech women’s soccer team. Michelle Jacob, an all-American midfielder at UW-Stevens Point, will guide the team. She comes to Tech after serving as head coach at Marian (Wis.), where she compiled a 32-24-1 record in three seasons with the Sabres.

    The team is comprised of 20 freshmen and one sophomore transfer. The team will be led offensively by a pair of high scoring freshman from Ashland, Wis. Ari Peterson and Amanda Whiting combined for 178 points (70 goals, 38 assists) during their senior seasons. The pair led Ashland High School to a perfect 22-0 regular season record with out allowing a goal.  The team also welcomes a pair of talented goalkeepers, Jacqui Landry and Mary Spoehr.



Northern Michigan University
Head Coach:  Matt Granstrand
(Seventh season, 66-38-7
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: Tied for 3rd (North)


OVERVIEW:  Matt Granstrand enters his seventh season directing the NMU soccer team. The Wildcats are coming off a winning season with an overall record of 10-9-1 and 7-6-1 in the GLIAC. NMU finished fourth in the GLIAC and lost to Grand Valley State in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

    This year’s squad is made up of 25 players with only four seniors. Granstrand’s squad may look young but they have the experience to be contenders. NMU returns the entire offensive attack with the key play of Kari Buckel and Dana  Stephens. Together these two combined for 15 of the teams 38 goals last season. Stephens led the team with 11.

    Goalkeeping will be a question after the departure of Kara Music, who left NMU with team career records for shutouts (21), saves (393), goals-against average (1.17) and wins (47). Jessica Baker appeared in six games during the 2009 campaign, recording a 1.61 goal-against average and a save-percentage of .778. 



Northwood University
Head Coach:  Doug Carter
(13th season, 83-117-10)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: Tied for 3rd (North)


OVERVIEW: Northwood is heading in the right direction after a dramatic improvement in 2009 under 13th year head coach Doug Carter.  NU won five more games than the previous season and was ranked as the eighth most improved D-II program in the country according to Somis Sports.  The team also reached the GLIAC Tournament for the first time in program history.

    Leading the way for the Timberwolves will be junior forward Amanda Watson, who earned First Team All-GLIAC honors last season after leading the conference in goals (17) and points (41).  Sophomore Mallory McCarthy is coming off a solid freshman season that saw her score seven goals and finish with 18 points, both of which were good for second on the team.  Junior Marie Zaccagni is also back, having been one of NU’s top players since her arrival in Midland. The T-Wolves return their top five scorers from a year ago. 



Ohio Dominican University
Head Coach:  Jonathan Meade
(Second season, 12-3-3)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  4th (South)

OVERVIEW: 2010 marks a new era for the Ohio Dominican women’s soccer team as the Panthers compete at the NCAA Division II level in the GLIAC for the first time. ODU made the most of its final year in the NAIA, compiling the second-most wins in school history with a 12-3-3 record and finishing No. 24 in the final regular season poll. ODU just missed out on a second-straight trip to the NAIA National Tournament, falling in a shootout to Cal State-San Marcos in the A.I.I. final in Phoenix. Second year head coach Jonathan Meade returns 17 letterwinners, including 10 starters and six all-conference selections from last season.

    First Team All-A.I.I. selections Sierra Patterson and Becky Williams lead the Panthers’ returning offense. Patterson led the team with 30 points, finishing second in goals (10) and assists (8). Williams led ODU with 13 goals and ranked second in points (29) after transitioning from goalkeeper to forward. Two-time NAIA All-American and First Team All-AMC selection Anna Cameron leads the returning midfielders. Goalkeeper Aimee Simonet, a Second Team All-A.I.I. selection, returns between the pipes for the Panthers. Simonet allowed just 16 goals in 1651 minutes, posting an 0.87 goals against average and .800 saves percentage.


Saginaw Valley State University
Head Coach:  Drago Dumbovic
(Eighth season, 67-44-6)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 2nd (North)

OVERVIEW: SVSU is coming off the most successful season in program history.  Coach Drago returns for his eighth season at the helm, carrying a 67-44-6 overall record for the Cardinals.  SVSU has posted six consecutive winning seasons, including going 14-3-3 in 2009, which is a program record for wins in a season.  The Cardinals also advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the first time in program history.

    The Cards return All-Midwest Region honoree Sam Echols to the mid-fielder position, who recorded eight goals, five of which were the game-winning variety, and five assists on the season.  Anne Berschbach returns in net for the Cardinals, where she posted an 11-2-2 record in 2009, including nine shut-outs and a 0.58 goals-against-average.

Tiffin University
Head Coach:  Paula Fantini
(First season)
2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  1st (South)



OVERVIEW: Tiffin University enters its first season under new head coach Paula Fantini, as she takes over after seven seasons from Rudy Brownell, who remains as the men’s soccer coach. Fantini coached from 2007-2009 at Lincoln Memorial after a standout career at Union College (KY). The Lady Dragons last year reached the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals after reaching the NCAA National Tournament in the 2008 season. The Dragons are returning nine starters and 16 letterwinners from the 2009 season.   

    TU’s offense returns All-GLIAC forward Ashley Davis after a strong freshman season in which she posted 11 goals, 10 assists, and 32 points. Forward Shelly Rogers (3 goals, 5 assists, 11 points) also looks to have an impact while midfielder Danielle Eaken (4 goals, 9 assists, 17 points) will also lead the attack. Alexandra Sevastakis (4 goals, 1 assist, 9 points) also hopes to step up her contributions after a solid freshman season.