FOREST, Va. --- Parity has become the norm in ODAC women's soccer with four different schools lifting the last four conference trophies. References to the number four continue in the 2022 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll with four schools earning first place votes, including chart-topper Virginia Wesleyan University.
The defending champion Marlins secured eight first place votes on the way to 161 points. Bridgewater College collected 150 tallies powered by three top nods. University of Lynchburg, last season's runner-up, sits just two points back at 148 markers with a pair of first place considerations. Washington and Lee University received the remaining top vote and slots fourth with 141 points. Randolph-Macon College (111), Roanoke College (110), and Shenandoah University (103) each cracked the 100-point barrier.
In the following sections, we take a quick look back at last season and get a feel for what to expect for the upcoming women's soccer campaign.
2021 ODAC TOURNAMENT | BRACKET
- The 2021 tournament featured five one-goal games including four 1-0 results and two contests that required extra-time to decide.
- Top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan was involved in three of those 1-0 contests including a 1-0 win over #8 Roanoke in the quarterfinals and a 1-0 win over #4 Washington and Lee in the semifinals.
- Third-seeded Lynchburg notched its quarterfinal winner in the second extra period for a 1-0 victory over #6 Guilford; the Hornets then exploded for four goals on the road in a 4-0 win at #2 Bridgewater in the semifinals.
- The championship, competed at VWU, saw the Marlins and Lynchburg fire 31 shots at their respective nets, but it took more than 73 minutes before Olivia Bryant notched the lone goal of the game towards a 1-0 Virginia Wesleyan victory.
- The win marked VWU's second ODAC women's soccer title, joining its 2006 trophy; the Marlins have appeared in 12 championship games.
- Lynchburg, winners of an ODAC record 16 women's soccer crowns, have played in 18 league title games.
2021 NCAA DIVISION III TOURNAMENT
- Virginia Wesleyan, owners of the ODAC's automatic entry for winning the ODAC title, were joined in the NCAA field of 64 teams by Lynchburg as an at-large selection.
- The Marlins traveled to Ewing, N.J., for early round play at The College of New Jersey; they squared off with six-time national champion Messiah in the first round; VWU took the Falcons to extra-time before Messiah found a winner in the 97th-minute of action.
- The Hornets were sent to Dallas, Pa., and Misericordia University; scoring was much more abundant in Lynchburg's showdown with Middlebury College; the Panthers scored twice within the opening 22 minutes, but a pair of Emily Santana goals in the 71st and 80th minutes drew Lynchburg level late-on; Santana's tallies would not be the final goals of regulation as Middlebury went ahead one-second shy of 87 minutes gone to secure a 3-2 win.
THE NATIONAL SCENE ENTERING 2022
- The United Soccer Coaches (USC) released its annual preseason rankings in early August; no ODAC teams received votes towards the rankings; reigning national champions Christopher Newport University start of #1 in the country.
- Barring any changes, the 2022 NCAA Tournament bracket will feature 64 schools; 44 will qualify by automatic bid from their conferences in "Pool A," with zero spots reserved for "Pool B" as independents or those in conference's that do not qualify for an automatic berth; the remaining 20 squads will be chosen at-large from by the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Committee from "Pool C," which includes all remaining teams not entered by Pool A or B processes.
WELCOME TO THE ODAC!
- Averett University became the 15th full-time member of the ODAC on July 1 and opens its first season of ODAC women's soccer this fall; the Cougars previously played out of the USA South Athletic Conference.
- Head coach Meghan Mauzy-Fleming features a squad that went 5-7-2 overall in 2021 with a 3-5-1 mark in the USA South to finish sixth in the USA South's East Division (10 teams).
- The Cougars were a NCAA qualifier in 2012 after winning both regular season and tournament championships.
- This year's squad features a pair of All-USA South returners; forward Celia de Diego was the USAS Rookie of the Year and was a first team choice in both the East Division and overall All-USAS; forward Jenna Franklin was a second team choice in the East Division.
RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS
The athletes listed below represent the top-three returning statistical leaders for each category from the 2021-22 season.
Save Pct./GAA Minimums | 33% of team goalkeeper minutes played
- Points | 32 - Crystal Rivas (GC); 31 - Celia de Diego (AU); 23 - Grace Wielechowski (W&L)
- Goals | 15 - Celia de Diego (AU); 13 - Crystal Rivas (GC); 11 - Grace Wielechowski (W&L)
- Assists | 6 - Crystal Rivas (GC); 5 - Sydney Dombrovskis (LYN)/Ann Riley Huber (W&L)
- GK Minutes Played | 1,429:22 - Alexis Bossi (RAND); 1,402:24 - Jade Lecklider (LYN); 1,393:48 - Ady Franken (GC)
- GK Saves | 148 - Katelyn Meyer (SBC); 115 - Ady Franken (GC); 97 - Cat Busani (HU)
- Save Pct. | .875 - Rachel Quigley (VWU); .869 - Jade Lecklider (LYN); .852 - Ady Franken (GC)
- Goals Against Avg. | 0.35 - Rachel Quigley (VWU); 0.51 - Jade Lecklider (LYN); 0.81 - Zoe Long (R-MC)
RETURNING ALL-ODAC TALENT | 2021 ALL-ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER AWARDS
The 2022 season features 26-of-39 All-ODAC honorees from the 2021 fall campaign plus two All-USA South award winners with the inclusion of Averett University. Virginia Wesleyan head coach Jeff Bowers, the reigning ODAC Coach of the Year, returns both the ODAC Player of the Year in centerback Sam Crawford and the ODAC Rookie of the Year, forward Breacain McClenahan. Bridgewater features the most returning standouts with 7-of-8 All-ODAC choices back this season.
- Ashley Sabatino (BC) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Breacain McClenahan (VWU) -- All-ODAC First Team; ROY
- Grace Wielechowski (W&L) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Skyler Daum (BC) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Maddy Myers (LYN) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Morgan O'Neill (RC) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Destiny Zapata (BC) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Crystal Rivas (GC) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Olivia Owens (R-MC) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Hanna Randolph (BC) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Alix Allen (LYN) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Alicia Keo (BC) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Louisa Bynum (W&L) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Emily Santana (LYN) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Cameron Grainger (W&L) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Maren Dougherty (BC) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Sam Crawford (VW) -- All-ODAC First Team; POY
- Liz Sullivan (W&L) -- All-ODAC First Team
- Lexi Winkler (BC) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Haleigh Casey (LYN) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Claire Lloyd (LYN) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Kaitlyn Duswalt (VWU) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Mia Clary (RC) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Eliza Ryan (RC) -- All-ODAC Third Team
- Rachel Quigley (VWU) -- All-ODAC Second Team
- Jade Lecklider (LYN) -- All-ODAC Third Team
ODAC HEAD COACHES
The ODAC features some of the best coaches in the business with three coaches -- Lynchburg's Todd Olsen (470), Roanoke's Phil Benne (366), Virginia Wesleyan's Jeff Bowers (307) -- winning more than 300 games during their careers so far. Three new coaches join the ODAC ranks for 2022. Meghan Mauzy-Fleming leads Averett, which begins competition as an ODAC full-time member in 2022-23. Kaitlyn Barbour is a first-year collegiate head coach and takes the reins at Sweet Briar. Tiffany Pins made the move to Washington and Lee this summer after 11 strong seasons leading the women's program at Wartburg College (Iowa).
- Meghan Mauzy-Fleming (AU) -- Overall: 6-13-2 (.333)/2 | at AU: 6-13-2 (.333)/2
- Mike Van Horn (BC) -- Overall: 170-82-18 (.663)/14 | at BC: 170-82-18 (.663)/14
- 3x ODAC Coach of the Year: 2012, 17, 21 (spring)
- Ted Erickson (EMU) -- Overall: 44-76-7 (.374)/8 | at EMU: 44-76-7 (.374)/8
- Erin Saleeby (FC) -- Overall: 15-23-5 (.407)/3 | at FC: 15-23-5 (.407)/3
- Justin Maullin (GC) -- Overall: 25-12-2 (.667)/2 | at GC: 11-6-1 (.639)/1 *
- Kat Van Orden (HU) -- Overall: 0-12-0 (.000)/1 | at HU: 0-12-0 (.000)/1
- Todd Olsen (LYN) -- Overall: 470-113-50 (.782)/28 | at LYN: 470-113-50 (.782)/28
- 10x ODAC Coach of the Year: 1997, 99, 2001, 04, 08, 10-11, 13-14, 18
- Kevin Porterfield (RAND) -- Overall: 108-208-5 (.344)/19 | at RAND: 108-208-5 (.344)/19
- Jay Howell (R-MC) -- Overall: 75-49-11 (.596)/8 | at R-MC: 75-49-11 (.596)/8
- 1x ODAC Coach of the Year: 2019
- Phil Benne (RC) -- Overall: 366-214-53 (.625)/33 | at RC: 366-214-53 (.625)/33
- 5x ODAC Coach of the Year: 1990, 92, 98, 2007, 2015
- Liz Pike (SU) -- Overall: 147-128-18 (.532)/15 | at SU: 147-128-18 (.532)/15
- Katilyn Barbour (SBC) -- First Season
- Jeff Bowers (VWU) -- Overall: 307-103-47 (.723)/22 | at VWU: 307-103-47 (.723)/22
- 3x ODAC Coach of the Year: 2003, 05, 21
- Tiffany Pins (W&L) -- Overall: 132-53-27 (.686)/11 | at W&L: First Season
* Coach Maullin's posted record is as a women's head coach. He went 59-73-18 (.453) in nine seasons as the men's head coach at UNC-Greensboro.
THE SCHEDULE AND TOURNAMENT
- The 14-team ODAC contingent will play an unbalanced 10-game schedule in addition to each school's non-league slate.
- The top eight teams in the ODAC standings from conference play will qualify for the ODAC Women's Soccer Tournament; the winner of the tournament will earn the conference's automatic entry to the NCAA postseason.
- The 2022 ODAC Women's Soccer Tournament Schedule features:
- Quarterfinals: Tuesday, November 1 at the #1-4 Seeds
- Semifinals: Friday, November 4 at the two highest remaining seeds (bracket progression)
- Championship: Sunday, November 6 at the highest remaining seed
- All game times are TBD
- The NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament field will be finalized on Sunday, November 6, with announcement on NCAA.com on Monday, November 7.
- The City of Salem, Va., the ODAC, and Roanoke College will serve as hosts of the men's and women's national semifinals and championships on the weekend of December 2, 2022; finals dates TBD.
Listed below is the 2022 ODAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll. 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.
2022 ODAC WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Virginia Wesleyan University (8)||161 pts.|
|2. Bridgewater College (3)||150 pts.|
|3. University of Lynchburg (2)||148 pts.|
|4. Washington and Lee University (1)||141 pts.|
|5. Randolph-Macon College||111 pts.|
|6. Roanoke College||110 pts.|
|7. Shenandoah University||103 pts.|
|8. Guilford College||87 pts.|
|9. Ferrum College||62 pts.|
|10. Eastern Mennonite University||61 pts.|
|11. Randolph College||52 pts.|
|12. Averett University||50 pts.|
|13. Hollins University||19 pts.|
|13. Sweet Briar College||19 pts.|