KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The United Soccer Coaches (Formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) recently announced its 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Preseason Ranking and Washington and Lee sits in the Top 25.
The Generals are ranked 22nd in the preseason after finishing the 2016 season with a 15-4-1 overall record. W&L ranked 20th in the final NSCAA poll of the year after winning the Old Dominion Athletic Conference title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
Washington University of St. Louis (19-2-3) sits atop the preseason ranking after winning the NCAA Division III title a year ago. Messiah (22-3), Chicago (18-4-1), William Smith (21-1) and Trinity of Texas (23-1) round out the preseason Top 5.
Washington and Lee returns eight players who started at least 10 contests a year ago, including junior midfielder Megan Engeland (Yardley, Pa. / Pennsbury), the reigning ODAC Player of the Year. Engeland played all 20 games, starting 18 of them, and finished with 21 points on 10 goals and one assist. Junior forward Caroline Peters (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Latin School) also returns after earning First Team All-ODAC laurels in 2016. She finished with 17 points on five goals and seven assists.
In all, the Blue & White returns six of its top eight scorers from last season and is led by 2016 ODAC Coach of the Year Neil Cunningham, who is 230-52-28 (.787) in his 16 seasons at the helm.
Washington and Lee opens its 2017 campaign on Sep. 1-2 at the Centre College Tournament. The Generals begin with Berry on Sep. 1 at 4:00 pm and then face 18th-ranked Centre on Sep. 2 at 3:00 pm.