WAUKESHA, Wis.- The Aurora Spartans topped the preseason coaches' poll as the favorites to win the 2012 Northern Athletics Conference Women's Soccer Championship.
AU was the choice of 11 of the 13 coaches polled and accumulated 166 total points for the top spot, in front of Marian, which tallied 143 points and one first-place vote. Edgewood was third with 137, followed by Dominican (130) in fourth and Concordia Wisconsin (126), which received the remaining first-place vote, in fifth.
MSOE filled the sixth spot with 116, while Benedictine was seventh (84), Concordia Chicago (82) eighth, Lakeland (55) ninth and Alverno (52) 10th. Wisconsin Lutheran (50), Maranatha (27) and Rockford (15) rounded out the final three spots in the poll.
The Spartans are seeking their seventh-straight NAC title, having won the first six in the league's short history. AU won last season's title with an 11-1 record in league play, and was 18-5 overall. The Spartans return four First Team All-NAC performers, including reigning NAC Defensive Player of the Year Anya Vincenti and are led head coach Troy Edwards, who enters his first season at the helm with the defending champions.
The league's six-team conference tournament will take place Oct. 27-Nov. 3, with the tournament champion receiving the NAC's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA III Championship Tournament.
2012 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Aurora (11), 166
2. Marian (1), 143
3. Edgewood, 137
4. Dominican, 130
5. Concordia Wisconsin (1), 126
6. MSOE, 116
7. Benedictine, 84
8. Concordia Chicago, 82
9. Lakeland, 55
10. Alverno, 52
11. Wisconsin Lutheran, 50
12. Maranatha, 27
13. Rockford, 15
first-place votes in parentheses
voted by the conference's head coaches
13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used