CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The University of Dubuque Women's Soccer team was picked to finish third in the Iowa Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. The Spartans return eight starters and 15 letter winners from last season's 11-7-2 team that place third in the league with 13 points and a 4-2-1 record. UD advanced to the IIAC Tournament Finals.
Loras College, the 2012 Iowa Conference regular season champion and tournament winner, is the unanimous choice of the league's coaches to capture the 2013 IIAC women's soccer crown. The Duhawks, who advanced to the third round of last year's NCAA Division III Championship, received all seven available first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams) for a total of 56 points.
Wartburg College, which finished second to Loras for last year's IIAC regular-season title and also advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships, received the remaining first-place vote. That, coupled with six second-place votes, left the Knights in second place with 50 points, while Central College and the University of Dubuque are tied for third with 39 points, four points clear of fifth-place Luther College.
The complete 2013 IIAC Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll follows.
|Rank||School (1st Place votes)||Points||2012 Record|
|1||Loras (7)||56||19-5-0, 7-0-0 IIAC|
|2||Wartburg (1)||50||12-5-3, 6-1-0 IIAC|
|3||Dubuque||39||11-7-2, 4-2-1 IIAC|
|3||Central||39||12-6-2, 3-2-2 IIAC|
|5||Luther||35||7-10-1, 2-5-0 IIAC|
|6||Simpson||27||9-9-0, 2-5-0 IIAC|
|7||Coe||18||7-9-2, 1-5-1 IIAC|
|8||Buena Vista||16||10-8-1, 1-6-0 IIAC|
The Spartans return over 90 percent of their goal-scoring from 2012 as 11 of the top 14 scorers return. Senior forward/midfielder Alexandra Watkins (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North), a three-time all-IIAC pick, was the team's leading scorer last season with 30 point on 13 goals and four assists. She also had two game-winners. Watkins ranked fourth among IIAC players in shots (69) and fifth in points and goals.
The offense will be supplemented by a pair of juniors – forward Megan Siepler (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) and midfielder Melanie Prudhomme (Lakemoor, Ill./Wauconda). Both were all-IIAC honorable mention a year ago. Siepler ranked second on the team in scoring with 15 points on six goals and three assists. She also had a team-high four game-winning goals which ranked fourth among IIAC players. Prudhomme notched five points on a goal and three assists.
The back line will be led by junior Lauren Waddell (Poplar Grove, Ill./Belvidere North), a second-team all-league pick last season. She also contributed three assists on offense.
Dubuque head coach Jason Berna says, "This year will be another exciting year in the IIAC with very competitive teams top to bottom. I hope we can continue to improve from last year's performance in conference and take the next step as a team."