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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the 2013 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll announced Wednesday (Aug. 28) by the league office.
The league's 13 head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.
Grand Valley State was picked to finish first with 12 first-place votes and 122 total points. Meanwhile, Michigan Tech finished second in the preseason poll by receiving 123 points and the only other first-place vote. Saginaw Valley State was voted third with 120 points.
Behind the top three, Ohio Dominican grabbed fourth place and tallied 102 points, following closely by Findlay with 91 points in fifth place. Ferris State collected 87 points to finish in sixth place in the poll. Northern Michigan earned 70 points to finish in seventh place while Tiffin finished in eighth place and garnered 70 points.
Northwood received 63 points to finish just one point ahead of Ashland for a ninth-place finish. Ashland tallied 62 points and took 10th place in the polls. Walsh earned 43 points for a 11th place finish, Lake Erie was voted 12th with 23 points, and rounding out the coaches poll was Malone with 18 points.
First-year head coach Andy McCaslin, who served as a volunteer assistant coach for Ferris State during the fall 2012 season, was tabbed as FSU's new head coach in January and will begin his first season at the Bulldog helm this fall. Prior to joining the Ferris State staff, McCaslin served as an assistant women's soccer coach at NCAA Division I Western Michigan from April 2011 to August 2012.
In his initial season on the Bulldog staff last fall, McCaslin helped FSU to the GLIAC Tournament semifinals for only the second time in school history. Ferris State concluded the 2012 campaign with a 9-7-3 overall record and the program's first winning season and highest league finish since 2005. FSU also made its third consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.
The Bulldogs officially start the regular-season by squaring off against Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Kenosha, Wis. Match time is set for 2:15 p.m. (ET). FSU then visits Lewis (Ill.) on Saturday, Sept. 7, to wrap up its opening week of action with a 3:30 p.m. (ET) tilt scheduled in Romeoville, Ill.
Ferris State opens its home slate facing Madonna in non-league action on Sept. 13 at the FSU Soccer Field in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs will open GLIAC play two days later at home versus Northwood on Sept. 15.
Overall, Ferris State will play 17 regular-season matches during the 2013 regular season, highlighted by eight home matches and a pair of outings against West Michigan rival Grand Valley State.
The 2013 campaign will represent the 15th season of Bulldog women's soccer since the program's inception in 1999.
Below is a preview of the Bulldogs' 2013 campaign:
Ferris State University
Head Coach: Andy McCaslin
2013 Preseason Coaches Poll: 6th
OVERVIEW: Head coach Andy McCaslin begins his first season at the Bulldog helm with 18 returnees from a year ago, including four seniors on the roster in veteran goalkeeper Rachel McCollum, defenders Amanda Foster and Audra Merino along with Courtney Meharg. A pair of returning National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II All-Midwest Region honorees are also back in Foster and junior midfielder Riley Wood, who claimed all-region second and third team laurels, respectively, last fall.
In his initial season on the Bulldog staff, McCaslin helped FSU to the GLIAC Tournament semifinals for only the second time in school history. Ferris State concluded the 2012 campaign with a 9-7-3 overall record and the program's first winning season and highest league finish since 2005. FSU also made its third consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance.
The Bulldogs start the regular-season against Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Kenosha, Wis.