ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College women's soccer team earned national recognition this week when HERO Sports released their preseason rankings on Aug. 20, slotting the Bulldogs as the 32nd-ranked team out of 438 Division III women's soccer programs.
"We try not to pay too much attention to preseason polls, but we appreciate the respect that our program has earned as we've truly rebuilt from the ground up over the past few seasons," head coach Ali Alamdari said. "That said, we have a long way to go to reach our goals, and it's important to know that we won't get there by sneaking up on anybody."
Earlier this week, AC was tabbed to finish second in the conference in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason coaches' poll. The MIAA had a strong showing in the HERO Sports rankings overall, being named the third strongest conference out of 44 conferences for women's soccer in D3, with six MIAA teams cracking the Top-80.
"More than anything, it's great to see the MIAA getting the recognition it deserves as one of the top conferences in the country," Alamdari continued. "We have a grueling non-conference schedule ahead of us, and we'll need to take advantage of those challenges if we want to grow into a team that can compete for a league title."
The Bulldogs will be looking to build off of a strong campaign last year, where they finished third in the conference and made it to the MIAA semi-finals. It was their highest finish since winning the title in 2011. The Black and Gold had a strong defense last year and are looking to continue that trend with Second Team All-MIAA goalkeeper Ayverie Giller and First Team All-MIAA defender Rachel Rodeheffer returning. The Bulldogs are also returning their top two goal scorers from a season ago, in Mya Oleksiak and First Team All-MIAA selection Caroline Fleming.
Adrian will kick off its season on Aug. 31 when they travel to Wooster. The first home game of the year will come on Sep. 15 when Michigan-Dearborn comes to town.
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