Grand Valley State Selected As Preseason Favorite in 2012 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll

Grand Valley State Selected As Preseason Favorite in 2012 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll

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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 to win the 2012 GLIAC women’s soccer title in preseason balloting.

2012 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll 


School (first-place votes)



Grand Valley State (13)


Ohio Dominican (1)









Northern Michigan



Ferris State



Saginaw Valley State



 Michigan Tech



Findlay 70  


Northwood 64  
11.  Walsh 52
12  Notre Dame 48
13. Malone 28


Lake Erie


    The league’s 14 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.

The Lakers outdistanced Ohio Dominican University by 23 points and collected 13 first-place votes. GVSU, which has won the last seven GLIAC titles, will work towards earning its 10th-straight NCAA Tournament bid this year.

    ODU, only in its third year of GLIAC action, finished second in the preseason poll receiving 146 points and the only other first-place vote. Ashland University was voted third in the poll with 136 points. After making it to the GLIAC Tournament, Ashland saw its 2011 season come to an end in the GLIAC Tournament finals.

    Tiffin University grabbed fourth place and tallied 124 points, followed closely by Northern Michigan University by one vote, with 123 points to finish in fifth place. Ferris State University collected 111 points to finish in sixth place, while Saginaw Valley State  University earned 101 points to finish in seventh place. Michigan Technological University finished in eighth place, garnering 80 points.

    The University of Findlay received 70 points to finish just six points ahead of Northwood University for a ninth place finish. Northwood tallied 64 points and took tenth place in the polls.

    Walsh University, beginning its first year as a full member of the GLIAC earned 52 points for a tenth place finish. GLAC affiliate Notre Dame College was voted 11th with 48 points, followed by first-year GLIAC member Malone University in 12th place with 28 points. Lake Erie College rounded out the poll in 14th place with 26 points.

    GLIAC women’s soccer teams open play on Thursday, Aug. 30 with conference play beginning Wednesday, Sept. 5.  The 2012 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Tournament will begin with quarterfinals on Oct 30 on campus sites, with the semifinals and final held on Nov. 2 & 4 on the campus of the No. 1 seed.


 -- The following are previews of all 14 GLIAC Women's Soccer teams for the 2012 season --

Ashland University
Head Coach:  Glenn Francis
(Third season, 13-18-6)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  3rd

OVERVIEW:  AU head coach Glenn Francis is starting his third season and this looks to be his deepest, most talented team.

    The Eagles return nine starters and 14 letter winners from the 2011 team that went 9-8-4, 7-4-3 in GLIAC play.  That team advanced to the championship game of the GLIAC Tournament before falling to Grand Valley State, 2-0.

    The top four starters from last season all return. That quartet of sophomores includes forward Kathleen Demaree (Canal Fulton, Ohio/Northwest), midfielder/forward Haley Frick (Brunswick, Ohio), midfielder/defender Lexi Gruich (Akron, Ohio/Copley) and forward Megan Zealer (Circleville, Ohio/Teays Valley).  Demaree and Frick shared the team lead in goals with four each. Demaree had a team-high 10 points and Frick scored nine points. Gruich ended the year with eight points and Zealer had three goals and an assist, good for seven points.

    The Eagles believe they have one of the conference’s top goal keepers in junior Rebecca Plescia (Parma, Ohio/Padua).  Plescia played in all 21 of AU’s matches last season and had a 0.97 goals against average.


Ferris State University
Head Coach:  Matt Kellogg
(Third season, 7-9-3)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 6th

OVERVIEW:  Head Coach Matt Kellogg will embark on this third season at the Bulldog helm this fall and has guided FSU to back-to-back trips to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament.

    Ferris State finished the 2011 campaign with a 7-9-3 overall record.  Last fall’s appearance in the conference tournament represented the program’s fourth ever as the Bulldogs also made the tournament in 2007 and 2008 before the back-to-back trips in 2010 and 2011.

    FSU welcomes back 15 letterwinners from a year ago for the program’s 14th collegiate campaign, including 10 players with starting experience.  The returnees include junior goalkeeper Rachel McCollum, who made 18 starts a year ago and finished with a 1.05 goals against average to go with 86 saves.  Sophomore midfielder Stephanie Garland recorded 10 points as a rookie last year on three goals and four assists while junior midfielder Hillary Braun contributed a pair of goals. 

University of Findlay
Head Coach:  Crystal Dye
(First season)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  9th

OVERVIEW:      The University of Findlay women’s soccer team will come out looking to make their mark in the GLIAC this season after a 7-9-1 mark in 2011.  The 2012 season will also mark the first year Crystal Dye will lead the team after taking over for long-time coach Andy Smyth.

     Sophomore Eryn Weber looks to build on her strong freshman season when she scored a team-high four goals in 16 starts for the Oilers. Junior Ann Eichman also looks to get her season started off in the right direction after finishing second on the team with three goals.



Grand Valley State University
Head Coach:  Dave DiIanni
(Tenth season, 177-16-14)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 1st


OVERVIEW:      Under the guidance of 10th-year head coach Dave DiIanni, Grand Valley State enters the season in search of its eighth straight GLIAC Championship.  DiIanni owns an impressive 177-16-14 (.889) record to sit in second place in NCAA Division II coaching records.  The Lakers were 15-0 in GLIAC play last season and return eight starters and 20 letterwinners from the 2011 National runner-up squad.

     The offensive duo of seniors Ashley Botts (20 goals, 11 assists) and Kayla Addison (15 goals, 7 assists) return for their final season.  Both were named to the All-GLIAC first team, while Botts was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and earned All-American honors.  The 2011 GLIAC Defensive Player of the Year Alyssa Mira (2 goals, 6 assists) also returns after helping GVSU to 16 shutouts and only allowing 10 goals on the season.  The Lakers welcome back All-American goalkeeper Chelsea Parise who ranked fourth in the country in goals-against average (0.39).  Parise notched 14 solo shutouts and did not allow a goal in the month of October.



Lake Erie College
Head Coach:  Jamie Shadd-Matson
(Second season. 1-16-1)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  14th


OVERVIEW:  Lake Erie enters the 2012 season looking for marked improvement from head coach Jamie Shadd-Matson’s debut season after the Storm finished an injury-ravaged campaign with a 1-16-1 overall record and 0-14 mark in the GLIAC. The Storm loses just one senior from last year’s squad and has a talented group returning.  

    The Storm returns it’s leading goal scorer,  Sophomore Meghan Amrbose.  Ambrose scored three goals on only nine shots in 2011. Junior Paige Nemec will also return for the Storm.  Nemec led the Storm in assists during the 2011 season. 

    The defense is returning several key players.  Sophomore Grace Ferut started 17 games for the Storm, while  junior defenders Lauren Gaitsch and Chrissy Poulos return after having solid seasons in 2011. Junior Megan Baldacci will lead the Storm in net.  She recorded 142 saves and two shutouts in 2011, including a season high 14 saves against Ohio Dominican on September 18th. 

            The Storm open the 2012 campaign at Gannon Univertsity Aug. 30.


Michigan Technological University
Head Coach:  Michelle Jacob
(Third season, 14-19-1)

2011 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 8th

OVERVIEW:      MTU returns a solid group of players for the 2012 season, including three top scorers. The team returns 65 of its 85 points from last season.

    Leading scorer, Katie Boardman, a junior forward, returns looking to build on the school records she set for goals (seven), assists (six) and points (20) in a season. Sophomore Alyssa Hynnek (Seymour, Wis.) rejoins Boardman at forward after an eleven point season (five goals, one assist) last year.

    Junior midfielder Lindsey Van Rooy (Kaukauna, Wis.) brings her 10 point tally from last year (three goals, four assists).    

    The Huskies return a very experienced back line featuring four juniors, Kaitlyn Boelter (Keshena, Wis.), Katie Pappas (Cloquet, Minn.), Sarah Hielsberg (Oshkosh, Wis.) and Melanie Hoffman (Green Bay, Wis.).



Northern Michigan University
Head Coach:  Matt Granstrand
(Eighth season, 75-44-12)

2011 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 5th


OVERVIEW:  Northern Michigan enters its 17th season and is led by head coach Matt Granstrand in his ninth season. Granstrand has led the Wildcats to an 85-53-15 record, five GLIAC tournament appearances and one NCAA Tournament appearance. NMU qualified for its fifth straight GLIAC Tournament in 2011 and finished 10-6-3 overall and 8-5-2 in the conference.

    The Wildcats have 17 returning players along with eight freshmen. The top returning forward include senior forward Amelia Johnson and sophomores Tevun Sellers and Kim Rietveld.  Johnson and Rietveld were both named the GLIAC Second Team and both had four goals last season. Sellers had six goals.

    Defensively, NMU returns GLIAC first team selection senior Becky Schmidt. She started all 19 games in 2011, had a goal and an assist on the season and was also named to the NSCAA Midwest Region Third Team.



Malone University
Head Coach:  Leta Gramlich
(Fifth season, 25-38-2)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 13th

OVERVIEW: The Pioneers will look to improve on their 2011 campaign, which saw them go 3-13. Leta Gramlich will lead Malone into her fifth season as head coach. She is 25-38-2 through the first four years of her tenure.

    Malone will be loaded with experience, returning 10 starters. Jen McFadden will lead the backline after being selected to the All-Ohio NCAA Division II/NAIA’s Second Team in 2011. Goalkeeper Angie Nutial will be responsible for stopping anything that leaks through McFadden’s backline. The senior turned aside 88 shots last season. Much of the onus to put the ball in the net will be placed on senior Amanda Hanlon and sophomore Ally Smith.  Hanlon and Smith each scored a team-high three goals a year ago, while Smith led the team in points with eight.


Northwood University
Head Coach:  Dean Pappas
(Second season, 5-11)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 10th

OVERVIEW: The Northwood University women’s soccer team will be looking to take a step forward in the GLIAC this season.  The Timberwolves went 5-11 overall, 4-11 in the GLIAC a year ago.

    Northwood will be led once again by senior forward Amanda Watson.  She has earned First Team All-GLIAC honors in each of her three seasons as a Timberwolf.  Watson already holds the Northwood school record for points in a career (107) with one season remaining. Alyssa Tomassi is also back for her junior campaign after netting five goals and 13 points a year ago.  Megan Murdoch, Melissa Seymour, Mallory McCarthy and Allie Misner are among 18 overall players returning this season. 

    Head Coach Dean Pappas is now in his second season at the helm of the Timberwolves.



Notre Dame College
Head Coach: Mike Shields
(Ninth Season, 81-66-8)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  12th

OVERVIEW:      The Falcons enter the 2012 season, after going 12-3-1 a season ago.  Notre Dame is led by Head Coach Mike Shiels, who will embark on his ninth season at the helm.  Shiels’s teams have won 10 or more games in five out of their last six seasons.  A graduate of Mercyhurst, Shiels has been with the institution since 2003, and has an overall record of 81-66-8 (.522). 

    Notre Dame will return six starters from a season ago, and must find a way to replace Katie Christensen, who led the team in both goals (10) and points (24).  Forward Lauren Acker returns after a strong junior season, where she finished the season second on the team in goals (9) and game winning goals (3), and a had a team best five assists.  Junior goalkeeper Kristy Kolschetzky also returns after she started 13 games, compiling a record of 11-3-1, in goal, and registered six shutouts. 


Ohio Dominican University
Head Coach:  Jonathan Meade
(Fourth season, 33-13-9)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  2nd

OVERVIEW:     After going on a nine-game win streak and claiming the GLIAC South Division title to end the 2011 regular season, the Ohio Dominican’s women’s soccer team looks to build on that success heading into 2012. Fourth-year head coach Jonathan Meade has compiled a 33-13-9 record since taking over in 2008 and took his team to an overall 2011 mark of 10-6-3 while compiling a conference slate of 8-4-2. His 2012 cast features senior midfielder Jennifer Holton, sophomore goalie Laura Clark and several other promising returnees.

    Holton was named to both the All-GLIAC Second Team  the All-Midwest Region Squad. She finished the year as the conference’s eighth-best goal scorer, seventh-best point getter and ranked sixth in assists. She led the Panther s with a team high seven goals, 20 points and six assists. 

    Clark started in 17 of the 19 games for the Black and Gold and amassed an 8-5-2 record, 65 saves, 0.64 goals against average and a .844 save percentage. She was at the top of the GLIAC statistics in most categories for a goalie, as she was second in goals allowed with 12 (0.64%), third in save percentage (.844) and second in shutouts with 9.0 (.50 Sho/all-time in Division II record book for the longest streak by a goalkeeper.


Saginaw Valley State University
Head Coach:  Drago Dumbovic
(11th season, 82-60-13)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 7th

OVERVIEW: The 2012 Saginaw Valley State University women’s soccer team will feature a talented group of underclassmen, as ten of the 15 returners are sophomores. Drago Dumbovic is entering his eleventh season with the Cardinal soccer program with an overall record of 82-60-13. SVSU looks to bounce back from a 6-8-2 record in 2011 that snapped their streak of seven straight seasons with a winning record.

    Seniors Charley Porter and Megan Morad will captain the 2012 squad after starting every contest the past two seasons. The Cardinals return ten starters, including 2011 GLIAC ‘Freshman of the Year’ goalkeeper Laura Ivezaj, who allowed 13 goals in 14 games last season with seven shutouts for a 0.91 goals against average.  Junior forward Andrea Grove returns in 2012 to lead the offensive unit after finishing second in points last season with seven, including a team-high three goals.

Tiffin University
Head Coach:  Paula Fantini
(Third season, 21-13-5)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  4th


OVERVIEW: Tiffin University’s women’s soccer team looks forward to the 2012 season under the direction of third-year head coach Paula Fantini. Fantini holds a 21-13-5 career record after going 9-7-3 in 2011, 7-5-2 in the GLIAC. They return 7 starters and 26 letterwinners from last season.

     Leading the returners is two-time All-GLIAC forward Ashley Davis (4 goals, 2 assists, 10 points) while Alexandra Sevastakis (8 goals, 4 assists, 20 points) and Lauren Bowyer (9 goals, 2 assists, 20 points) also brings goal scoring threat to the pitch. Sevastakis and Bowyer were the top goal scorers for the Dragons in 2011.




Walsh University
Head Coach:  Paula Fantini
(Second season, 13-5)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank:  11th

OVERVIEW:  Walsh enters its first season as a member of the GLIAC under the guidance of Head Coach Dave Renard, who is in his second year at the helm after two years as an assistant. Last season, he led the Cavaliers to a 13-5 record with an 8-3 American Mideast Conference record. Walsh returns 23 letter winners and all starters except for the goalkeeper.

    The offense will be paced by seniors Molly Martin (six goals, three assists, 15 points) and Carley Adams (11 goals, one assist, 23 points). Martin earned First-Team All-AMC honors for the second consecutive year in 2011. She scored two game-winning goals, including the goal in a 1-0 victory at Malone. Adams was a Second-Team All-AMC selection and has led the team in scoring three-straight years. Adams scored four game-winning goals and recorded two hat tricks last season. Gina Pinzone (four goals, four points, 12 points) is a senior standout at midfield that accounted for a pair of game winners last season.

    The Cavaliers have five conference games against teams they have played in the past two seasons. One of them is against nearby rival Malone on Wednesday, Sept. 5, which will serve as Walsh’s first-ever contest in any sport as a member of the GLIAC.

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 2011 GLIAC women’s soccer North Division and South Division titles, respectively, in preseason balloting.
    The league’s 11 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.
    The Lakers outdistanced Northern Michigan University by seven points in the North Division voting (25-18) and garnered five first-place votes. GVSU, which has won the last six GLIAC titles, is the  two time defending NCAA Division II Champion. GVSU downed UC San Diego, 4-0, in the 2010 title match in Louisville, Ky.
    NMU finished second in the north division in 2010 and received the lone remaining first-place nod for a second place poll finish. The Wildcats also earned an NCAA D-II postseason bid.
    Ferris State University was voted third in the North Division with 16 points. Saginaw Valley State University tallied 14 points to place fourth, followed by Michigan Technological University in fifth with 11 points. Northwood Universtiy finished with six points for sixth in the North.  
    Tiffin earned four first-place votes in South Division voting, finishing four points ahead of Ohio Dominican University. After making it to the GLIAC Tournament final, Tiffin saw its 2010 season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA D-II Tournament.
    ODU earned a first-place nod in the school’s second year of GLIAC action, and received 12 points to put them three points ahead of Ashland University and the University of Findlay. The Eagles and Oilers tied for third and garnered nine points apiece.
      Lake Erie College rounded out the South Division in fifth place with four points.
    GLIAC women’s soccer teams open play on Thursday, Sept. 1 with conference play beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7.  The 2011 GLIAC Women’s Soccer Tournament will begin with quarterfinals on Nov. 1 on campus sites, with the semifinals and final held on Nov. 4 & 6 on the campus of the No. 1 seed.

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