Returning experience means higher expectations for the EMU women's soccer team as the league coaches have voted them eighth in the 2019 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Preseason Poll. They received 71 points, just two points ahead of Ferrum. Shenandoah was picked seventh with 98 points and defending champion Lynchburg topped the group with 166 points.
The Royals return most of their starters from last season that ended with a 6-8 record, just missing the conference tournament by one game.
Top goal scorers from a year ago Rachel Sauder (Lyndhurst, Va./Stuarts Draft) and Laura Rittenhouse (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) are back to lead the offense while Megan Breidigan (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) and goalkeeper Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) headline the defense.
EMU plays their season opener on Friday, at home against Marymount. They play on the Turf again on Sunday against Averett.
The ODAC Preseason Poll is listed below. Click here to see the full release from the ODAC, which includes preview capsules for each of the conference's women's soccer programs.
For more information on ODAC women's soccer, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
2019 ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. University of Lynchburg (10) - 166 pts.
2. Virginia Wesleyan University (2) - 149 pts.
3. Bridgewater College (2) - 146 pts.
4. Randolph-Macon College - 131 pts.
5. Washington and Lee University - 130 pts.
6. Roanoke College - 111 pts.
7. Shenandoah University - 98 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite University - 71 pts.
9. Ferrum College - 69 pts.
10. Guilford College - 63 pts.
11. Randolph College - 59 pts.
12. Emory & Henry College - 43 pts.
13. Hollins University - 20 pts.
14. Sweet Briar College - 18 pts.