NCAA Division III Women’s Preseason Top 25
The William Smith College soccer team is ranked second in the nation, behind defending national champion Messiah, in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire preseason coaches rankings. The Herons went 20-1-1 last season, suffering their only loss of the season in the NCAA semifinals 1-0 to the Falcons.
Johns Hopkins, Wheaton (Ill.), and Trinity (Texas) round out the top five.
It’s the fourth time in the past five seasons that William Smith has been ranked in the preseason top 10. Since the start of the 2007 season, the Herons are 85-10-13, including a 29-0-6 record in Liberty League play. William Smith has won five consecutive conference championships and made five straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship, advancing to the national semifinals in 2008, 2010, and 2011.
The Herons will have a decidedly different look when they take the field in 2012. William Smith graduated 10 seniors, including seven starters. The good news for Head Coach Aliceann Wilber is that the top four goal scorers from last season are back: Liberty League Rookie of the Year Dineo Mmutla (12), second team All-American Whitney Frary (9), Krista Longo (5), and Renee Jensen (4).
In 32 seasons, Wilber has compiled more wins than any coach in NCAA Division III women’s soccer, entering this season with a 443-122-50 (.761) record.
William Smith will take on top-ranked Messiah in Mechanicsburg, Pa., on Sept. 8.
The Herons open the season with the annual Heron Cup, Aug. 31-Sept. 1. No. 19 Ithaca will kick things off against UW-Eau Claire at 2 p.m. with William Smith taking on Babson at 4:30 p.m.