INDIANAPOLIS – Cleveland State has been selected to finish third in the Horizon League Women's Soccer Preseason Poll as voted upon by the Horizon League head coaches and announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Cleveland State received two first-place votes and finished with 73 points to place third in the preseason poll. Defending champion Milwaukee received eight first-place votes and totaled 90 points to place first in the poll, while Northern Kentucky was second with 79 points.
The Vikings, who finished last year with an 11-7-1 overall record and a 6-2-1 Horizon League mark, return 17 letterwinners from last season and six starters.
Cleveland State, which set school records for overall wins and Horizon League wins, advanced to the Horizon League Tournament title match for the first time in school history.
Ja'Maya Ward, who was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team, is the leading returning scorer for Cleveland State after notching four goals and four assists last season to finish with 12 points.
Junior Grace Grant, who appeared in 16 matches, and sophomore Megan Bine, who started 10 matches, also return for the Vikings. Senior Kailah Ransom made 13 appearances last year and started six times.
Senior Toni Dickson is back for the Vikings in 2019 after having her 2018 cut short due to injury.
Junior keeper Stevie Holbrook also returns in 2019 after posting an 11-6-1 overall record. She recorded six shutouts on the season and posted a .818 save percentage.
Keeper Annie Jackson redshirted during the 2018 season.
Cleveland State welcomes five transfers and seven freshmen to the team in 2019.
Cleveland State will open the 2019 season on Friday (Aug. 23) at Kent State at 7 p.m. before opening the home portion of the schedule versus Akron on Sunday (Aug. 25) at 1 p.m.
2019 HORIZON LEAGUE WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
1. Milwaukee (8) 90 pts
2. Northern Kentucky 79 pts
3. Cleveland State (2) 73 pts
4. IUPUI 64 pts
5. Wright State 61 pts
6. Oakland 59 pts
7. UIC 44 pts
8. Detroit Mercy 30 pts
9. Youngstown State 29 pts
10. Green Bay 16 pts