INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mount St. Joseph University has been selected to pace the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference race in women's soccer this season. The Lions received 84 total points in a poll of the conference's ten head coaches, grabbing four first place votes. Franklin College was selected to finish second in the poll and received 81 total points and three first place votes.
Hanover College placed third in the poll with 77 total points (two first place votes), while Transylvania University finished fourth with 64 points. Anderson University (one first place vote) and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology received 60 points in a tie for fifth, Earlham College (43 points), Manchester University (32), Defiance College (25), and Bluffton University (24) rounded out the poll.
Mount St. Joseph University finished 2017 with a 7-2 conference record and a 17-4 mark overall, finishing second in the league standings. The Lions ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Franklin in the HCAC tournament championship match.
The 2018 version of the Lions return four players that earned first-team All-HCAC honors last fall. Senior forward Kaylan Gruber (Harrison, Ohio) tallied 13 goals and four game-winning goals last season. Junior midfielder Stefanie Autenrieb (Cincinnati, Ohio) returns after playing in all 21 games for the Mount last fall. Junior Madeline Rechel (Harrison, Ohio) contributed two goals and one assist in the back position last fall, and defender Alex Hines (Cincinnati, Ohio) returns for the Lions as well.
Franklin College claimed the regular season and tournament HCAC title with an 8-1 conference record last season and finished 14-5 overall. The Grizzlies fell to Arcadia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 3-1 in regulation. Franklin returns one first-team All-HCAC selection from last season's squad, including the HCAC Offensive MVP. Senior forward Maddie Fleet (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the conference in goals and total points last season. She contributed 25 goals and six assists totaling 56 points for her junior season with the Grizzlies.
Hanover College will look to challenge for an HCAC title in 2018. The Panthers finished third in the conference race last fall with a 6-2-1 mark (12-5-1 overall), but lost 2-0 to Mount St. Joseph in the HCAC tournament semifinals. Hanover will return two second-team All-HCAC selections from the 2017 team. Junior forward Brandi Brock (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior midfielder Cassidy Evanson (Carmel, Ind.) each added four goals and three assists for the Panthers last fall.
The 2018 women's soccer season is scheduled to open on August 31.
Players to Watch
|Mount St. Joseph||Kaylan Gruber||Senior||Forward|