HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Centennial Conference preseason poll. Haverford received one first-place vote among conference coaches and a total of 87 voting points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Defending Centennial Conference Champion Johns Hopkins is the preseason favorite according to the coaches as the Blue Jays picked up the other 10 first-place votes in the poll for a total of 100 points. Gettysburg (82 points) finished third in the voting, while Swarthmore and Dickinson each finished with 64 voting points to tie for fourth and round out the top five vote getters.
Haverford will have to adjust to the loss of three All-Centennial Conference performers from one year ago. Meg Boyer and Elizabeth Newman were both first-team All-Centennial Conference selections in 2013, while Mariah Baker earned second-team All-CC honors last fall. Those three key departures accounted for three of the Fords' top five point producers on offense last season.
Looking to offset the graduation losses will be eight returning starters from last season. Five of those returning starters will be entering their senior campaign this coming year. In total, Haverford has seven seniors on its current roster. Senior Connie Friedman ranked second on the team in points last year with five goals and two assists. Classmate Phoebe Miller added two goals and an assist to rank fourth on the team in points. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Robin Chernow is back after garnering honorable mention All-Centennial Conference honors in 2013. She played all but a few minutes in net for the Fords last season, posting a 0.66 goals against average to go along with 10 victories and six draws in 20 games played.
Jamie Schneck, who is entering her eighth season at the helm of Haverford in 2014, has made the Centennial Conference Tournament in each of her first seven years with the Fords. Her squad is coming off back-to-back championship game appearances in the conference tournament, including the 2012 championship title win. Haverford has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons.
After its alumnae game this Saturday, August 23, women's soccer will open the regular at home against Arcadia next Saturday, August 30 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Haverford College Kick-Off Classic. Centennial Conference play opens up for the Fords on Saturday, September 20 at Dickinson.