EDISON, N.J. - The Marist women's soccer team was chosen to repeat as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Champions for the 2012 season in the preseason poll that was voted on amongst the conference's 10 head coaches and released on Tuesday. The Red Foxes earned 99 points, a nearly unanimous decision, and places them 18 points ahead of the second place Fairfield Stags (81).
"It's truly an honor to have our team be recognized so highly by my peers. This is a real confidence booster for our program" said Head Coach Kate Lyn after hearing the results. "Our toughest challenge this year will be maintaining a level of consistency in our quality of play. We have much tougher competition this season, playing many teams ranked above us in the national rankings such as UPenn and UConn. Fortunately, I believe these early matches will prepare us well for our conference play and hopefully the NCAA Tournament as well. I look forward to getting started."
Coming off of the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and an all-time best 13-6-2 record, the Red Foxes will bring back nearly its entire roster as they graduated just three student-athletes.
Marist was followed in the poll by its fellow 2011 MAAC Semifinalists, Fairfield, Loyola (80) and Niagara (73). Siena (53), Canisius (45), Iona (45), Rider (41), Manhattan (21) and Saint Peter's (12) round out the poll.
In the accompanying poll, the Preseason All-MAAC Team, Marist had four players represented; senior defenders Chelsea Botta (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Jessica Arabia (Naperville, Ill.), junior midfielder Rycke Guiney (Naperville, Ill.) and sophomore forward Amanda Epstein (Jericho, N.Y.). All four Red Foxes come in following All-MAAC 2011 campaigns, as Arabia and Guiney were First Team honorees, Botta, a Second Teamer and Epstein the conference's Rookie of the Year.
The Red Foxes open their regular season on Tuesday, August 21 versus Wagner.