MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Women's Soccer was predicted to finish tied for seventh in the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Monday. The Wildcats are coming off a seventh-place finish a year ago and an appearance in the conference tournament for the fifth-consecutive season.
NMU was picked to finish tied for seventh with GLIAC newcomers the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Both teams received 34 points in the preseason poll.
Reigning champion Grand Valley State University was tabbed to win the league crown with 81 total points and nine first place votes. Ashland University and Ferris State University rounded out the top-three with 70 and 68 points, respectively. Ferris St. received the final first-place vote.
Saginaw Valley State University and Davenport rounded out the top-five teams with the Cardinals recording 54 points and the Panthers earning 42 points. Michigan Technological University was picked sixth with 38 points.
Northwood University and Purdue University Northwest round out the poll in ninth and 10th. The Timberwolves were awarded 20 points and the Pride received nine points.
NMU enters 2018 with second-year head coach Sonia Basma at the helm. In her first season, Basma guided the Wildcats to a 4-11-2 overall record and an appearance in the GLIAC Tournament. The team will return their top scorer in sophomore forward Jenna Halonen (Howell, Michigan) who scored eight goals and added a pair of assists for 18 points in 2017. In goal, sophomore goalkeeper Brianna Frontuto (Luxemburg, Wisconsin) earned four shutouts in 17 contests as a freshman.
The Wildcats begin the year with a pair of home contests beginning with St. Cloud State University August 30 at 5:30 p.m. NMU then hosts the University of Minnesota Duluth September 2 at noon. Conference action begins September 14 when the Wildcats travel to PNW.
The complete results of the poll are listed below.
1. Grand Valley State - 81 (9)
2. Ashland - 70
3. Ferris State - 68 (1)
4. Saginaw Valley - 54
5. Davenport - 42
6. Michigan Tech - 38
T7. Northern Michigan - 34
T7. Wisconsin-Parkside - 34
9. Northwood - 20
10. Purdue Northwest - 9