The Northern Michigan University soccer team was picked sixth of 13 teams in the GLIAC women’s soccer preseason poll. The poll was released with the conference’s soccer media day, which was today, August 19.
The Wildcats narrowly edged Saginaw Valley for the sixth spot by one poll point, 91-90. There was a 14-point gap up to fifth-placed Ashland, but a massive 32-point drop to Northwood and Findlay who tied for eighth.
Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech were picked 1-2 in the conference. GVSU is a perennial national powerhouse in women’s soccer, winning last year’s national championship and finishing the season 24-0-1. Michigan Tech started their women’s program in 2010 with just one non-freshman. Now the team has a senior-laded roster that looks to rival Grand Valley. Tech took three of the 13 first-place votes from the Lakers.
Ohio Dominican and Ferris State finished third and fourth. Walsh, Tiffin, Lake Erie and Malone rounded out the rest of the poll, which was selected by the league’s coaches.
Unlike football and volleyball, the GLIAC is not broken into two divisions for soccer. Hillsdale, Malone and fellow Upper Peninsula university Lake Superior State do not field women’s teams.
NMU had a 5-10-3 record in 2014, but finished their conference season 5-4-3 and a playoff appearance against the Ashland Eagles. The ‘Cats will be lead by the 2013 GLIAC Freshman of the Year Paula Hafner. The forward/midfielder scored eight goals and seven assists and was named first team All-GLIAC.