Cumberland women’s soccer ranks 19th in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll released late Tuesday by the national office.
Second-year head coach Brian Davies returns 11 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s club that won the Mid-South Conference regular season championship and finished 14-5-1 overall. Included in that group are Mid-South Conference Player of the Year Rebecca Holloway as well as First Team All-MSC selections Sarah Haddock, Ashley Kambeitz, Mariah Aplin and Savannah Moreland and Second Team honoree Luca Jöns.
Holloway recorded 11 goals and led the Mid-South with 12 assists, ranking 16th nationally in total assists. Aplin scored nine goals and Moreland collected eight, with both players netting six assists apiece. Haddock also posted seven goals in 2017.
Haddock and Jöns anchored the central defense in front of Kambeitz, with the trio helping the club register 10 shutouts and a 1.12 goals-against-average for the season. Kambeitz recorded 74 saves and was 14-5-1 in net.
Cumberland will begin the season next Thursday, Aug. 23 (slight change from original schedule) at home against 15th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan at 2 p.m. The Phoenix will play a scrimmage this Friday at 6 p.m. at Trevecca University in Nashville.
Men ranked 20th
Cumberland men’s soccer will enter the 2018 season ranked 20th in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll released late Tuesday by the national office.
Second-year head coach Adam Grant returns nine starters from last season’s 15-3-2 club that won the Mid-South Conference Tournament before losing in the NAIA Championship Opening Round.
MSC Freshman of the Year Tyler Watson returns as well as First Team All-Mid-South performers Bennet Strutz, Sondre Risa, Markus Skraastad and Daniel Williams along with Second Team honoree Bakary Bagayogo.
Williams led the Mid-South Conference with 18 goals and ranked 13th nationally in total goals per game. He ranked first in the country with eight game-winning goals and 17th in total points with 40.
Bagayogo was first on the club with nine assists while tallying five goals and Watson collected nine goals and five assists. Skraastad also handed out six assists for CU.
Risa and goalkeeper Strutz anchored the CU defense that allowed just 18 goals in 20 matches, including 12 shutouts. The 6-foot-6 Strutz collected 55 saves with a 0.76 goals-against-average and nine solo shutouts.
Cumberland will begin the regular season Aug. 25 at Christian Brothers and open the home schedule Aug. 29 versus Bethel University at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.