Herons begin 2009 at #4 in NSCAA rankings – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Herons begin 2009 at #4 in NSCAA rankings

The William Smith College soccer team will begin the 2009 season at fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason rankings. The Herons rode a 19-match unbeaten streak to the NCAA Semifinals last season, completing the campaign with a 16-2-5 overall record.

Head Coach Aliceann Wilber will welcome back 23 members of the 2008 squad, including 13 with experience in the starting lineup. The 2008 NSCAA Division III Coach of the Year begins her 30th season at William Smith with a 389-115-45 record (.750). Seeking to become the first woman to reach the 400-win plateau, Wilber has led her Herons to at least 11 wins in each of the past 24 seasons.

Offensively, William Smith returns its top three scorers, including first team All-American, BreLynn Nasypany. The Liberty League Player of the Year netted a team-high 15 goals and assisted on a team-high five more for 35 points. More than half of Nasypany’s tallies (8) were game-winners.

The defense will be anchored by goalie Amanda Davis. An NSCAA All-Region pick, she ranked 10th in the nation in goals against average (0.43) and save percentage (.890). Davis started 17 games during her first season, posting a 10-1-5 record with nine shutouts.

The Herons will face a challenging schedule that includes eight teams that made the NCAA Tournament and five ranked in the NSCAA’s preseason top 25. William Smith will face a daunting gauntlet to start the season, traveling to NCAA Tournament team Nazareth on Sept. 1, playing neutral site matches against No. 10 Lynchburg (Sept. 5) and No. 8 Washington (Mo.) (Sept. 6), and returning home for a showdown with No. 6 Johns Hopkins on Sept. 12.

Defending national champion Messiah is first in the rankings followed by Wheaton (Ill.) and Williams. Amherst rounds out the top five.