GORHAM, Maine -- The Little East Conference women's soccer coaches have tabbed the University of Southern Maine Huskies to finish sixth in their annual preseason poll released Wednesday following a vote by the conference's eight head coaches.
The University of Massachusetts Boston (18-2; 6-1 in 2012), with six first-place votes and 62 points, was the coaches' pick to finish first. The Beacons shared the 2012 regular-season title with Eastern Connecticut State University, and won the tournament championship with a 1-0 victory over Western Connecticut State University.
Eastern Connecticut (9-6-3; 6-1) collected the other two first-place votes and 53 points to place second in the poll. Western Connecticut (15-4-3; 5-2) picked up 45 points to earn the third spot.
Keene State College (12-9-1; 4-3) rounds out the top half of the poll with 42 points. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (11-5-2; 4-3) leads the second tier with 32 points.
Southern Maine (3-14; 2-5) was sixth with 22 points. Plymouth State University (3-11; 1-6) and Rhode Island College (2-15; 0-7) tied for seventh place with 16 points.
The Huskies, under the direction of head coach Lisa Petruccelli, have 15 players returning from last season's squad that finished sixth in the regular-season standings to advance to the tournament. The Huskies fell to Western Connecticut, 2-0, in the first round of the tournament.
Southern Maine opens the 2013 season this Friday and Saturday (August 30-31) hosting the USM Invitational. The Huskies will play Maritime College (N.Y.) on Friday (2:00 p.m.) and Gordon College on Saturday (4:30 p.m.). USM opens its seven-game LEC slate of games on September 21 hosting UMass Boston.
Little East Conference
2013 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Institution (1st Place votes) Total Points
1 University of Massachusetts Boston (6) 62
2 Eastern Connecticut State University (2) 53
3 Western Connecticut State University 45
4 Keene State College 42
5 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 32
6 University of Southern Maine 22
7 Plymouth State University 16
Rhode Island College 16