Women’s Soccer Opens Season Nationally-Ranked
Kansas City, Kans. - Lynn University’s women’s soccer team opens its season August 31, against Quincy as the No. 20 team in the nation after the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Continental Tire released the NCAA Division II Women’s Preseason Rankings on Tuesday. It marks the first time since 2001 the Fighting Knights begin play nationally-ranked.
“This is just a small step towards the ultimate goal of becoming one of the top programs in the country,” said head women’s soccer coach Chip Dutchik. “I’m happy for the girls and coaching staff to be ranked among the nation’s best but now it’s up to us to play like one of the best.”
The Fighting Knights have lofty expectations with nine of 11 starters and 15 letterwinners returning from a squad which went 11-7-1 overall and reached the NCAA Tournament Round of 16. Despite the loss of Sunshine State Conference Player & Offensive Player of the Year Melissa Ortiz, Lynn still boasts a potent offensive attack with Lina Forsman, Jackie Hellett and Kirstie Schults combining for 10 goals and 10 assists in their freshmen campaign.
Rio Hanlan leads a defense that should not be overlooked. The Blue & White posted the most shutouts since 1999 with the senior from Calgary, Alberta, anchoring the back four.
All-together, four Sunshine State Conference teams were represented in the top-25. Tampa earned the highest ranking at No. 8 while Saint Leo and Rollins rounded out the contingent at 23 and 24, respectively. Additionally, LU’s season-opening opponent, Quincy, received votes.
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