Aurora favored in NAC Women’s Soccer
Aurora University, winner of all three previous Northern Athletics Conference titles in women's soccer, has been chosen to win the 2009 NAC championship, according to the preseason coaches' poll. The Spartans received eight of 13 first place votes, and narrowly beat out Edgewood College with 162 poll points to 159. Edgewood received four first place votes.
Aurora (16-6, 11-1 NAC) compiled a 34-1 conference record in the first three seasons of the NAC. The lone loss came at the hands of Edgewood in a 1-0 defeat late last season. Edgewood also defeated the Spartans in the 2008 NAC tournament final for the conference's first automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III women's soccer championship tournament. The Eagles (16-4-2, 10-1-1) lost to UW-Stevens Point in the opening round of the national tournament. Prior to the 2008 NAC tournament, Aurora had won the prior two tournament championships.
Dominican University received the remaining first place vote and 137 points for a third place spot in the poll. The Stars (13-6-2, 10-2) were just four points ahead of fourth place Concordia University Wisconsin (12-7-1, 9-2-1).
Marian University (12-8, 8-4) was picked fifth with 111 points, while MSOE (12-8, 7-5) was sixth with 97 and Lakeland College (1-9, 6-6) seventh with 95. Maranatha Baptist Bible College (11-10, 6-6) received seven more points than eighth place Benedictine University (5-11, 4-8). Wisconsin Lutheran College (3-17, 3-9) tallied 50 poll points for 10th and Concordia University Chicago (1-16, 1-11) 41 for 11th.
Alverno College (3-16, 0-12), winless in the conference last season, was picked 12th with 28 points, while Rockford College (4-14, 2-10) was 13th with 21 points. The NAC tournament champion receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.