Women's Soccer Earn First Place Vote in IIAC Coaches Poll

Aug 26, 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Defending Iowa Conference champion Wartburg is the coaches pick to win the 2016 IIAC Women's Soccer title. The Knights picked up six first place votes and 62 points to earn the top spot in the Coaches Preseason Poll. 

Wartburg's 62 points came from six first place votes and two second place picks (coaches do not vote for their own team). Luther placed second with 51 points on one first place vote, three second place votes, three thirds, and a fifth place pick. Coe falls into the third spot with 46 points including one first place vote. Dubuque rounds out the top four with 43 points and a first place vote. Nine-time champion Loras is picked fifth with 40 points. Central is sixth with 36 points and projects to be the final IIAC Tournament qualifier.

IIAC newcomer Nebraska Wesleyan is picked seventh with 22 points. Simpson is projected to finish eighth with 15 points. Buena Vista takes the nine spot with nine points. 

The complete 2016 IIAC Women's Soccer Coaches Poll is as follows.

Rank  School (1st place votes) Points 2015 Record 
1.   Wartburg (6) 62 15-5-3, 6-1 IIAC 
2.   Luther (1) 51 13-5-1, 4-2-1 IIAC 
3.   Coe (1) 46 15-1-3, 5-1-1 IIAC 
4.   Dubuque (1) 43 10-7-2, 2-4-1 IIAC 
5.   Loras 40 11-5-4, 4-2-1 IIAC 
6.   Central 36 9-6-2, 3-2-2 IIAC 
7.   Nebraska Wesleyan 22 9-9-0, 6-5 GPAC 
8.   Simpson 15 5-13, 1-6 IIAC 
9.   Buena Vista 9 3-13, 0-7 IIAC 
The University of Dubuque women's soccer team earned a first place vote in the 2016 IIAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Spartans return from a 2015 season where they finished 10-7-2 overall. UD returns their second leading scorer in junior Kyleigh McLaughlin who finished second in scoring for the Spartans with eight goals and 16 points in 2015. Other veterans returning include junior Emily Meeker who finished with five goals, senior Brianna Burkart who added three goals and an assist, and sophomore Lauren Cangelosi who ranked second on the squad for assists with six. The Spartans return two returning starters in the net with sophomore Paige Dykstra and sophomore Megan Moll. Dykstra led UD with a goal against average of .86 and a save percentage of .792 after facing 106 shots last season. Moll ended 2015 with a goal against average of 1.42 and a save percentage of .700 and faced 56 shots.

NSCAA Preseason Poll:  Iowa Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Wartburg is ranked No. 18 in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 Preseason Poll. IIAC runner-up Coe is receiving votes. 

New Coaches: Matt Pucci replaces seven-time IIAC Coach of the Year Dan Rothert at the helm of the Loras Women's Soccer team. Pucci, a 2007 First Team All-Iowa Conference performer for Loras, has spent the last six seasons as an assistant with the Duhawks. 

The Schedule: The 2016 season begins on September 1 with Coe, Dubuque, Loras, Luther, Nebraska Wesleyan, Simpson and Wartburg all kicking off their seasons. Buena Vista starts things off at home on September 2. Central is the final team to start their season as they travel to Michigan for a September 3 opener. The 2016 Iowa Conference schedule begins on Saturday, September 24 with four games. The IIAC season is an eight game round robin schedule finishing on October 25. 

IIAC Tournament: The top six teams qualify for the 2016 tournament which begins on October 29 with the 4/5 seeds and the 3/6 seeds meeting at the lower seeds home field. The winners of the opening round games will face the 1 and 2 seeds on November 2.  The semifinal winners will face-off on November 5 for the tournament title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.