BAY CITY, Mich.-- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) released its annual Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll in conjunction with the launch of the media day website Tuesday morning (August 19).
The Lake Erie College women's soccer team was selected to finish 12th in the conference, receiving 25 points.
2013 National Champion Grand Valley State University was selected to finish first, collecting 141 points and 10 first-place votes. Michigan Tech University received 123 points and three first-place votes to finish second. Ohio Dominican University (112 points), Ferris State University (107 points) and Ashland University (105 points) rounded out the top five, respectively.
The poll was released as part of the conference's media day website, which features previews from all GLIAC teams and brief interviews with each head coach.
The Storm, under first-year Head Coach Valerie Prause, returns several starters from last year's team, including leading goal scorer Elizabeth Awuah (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central). In her freshman year, Awuah scored six goals and assisted on seven more to tally 19 points. Against Malone, Awuah had her first multi-goal game. Marlena Lesniowski (London, Ont./Catholic Central) returns for her third season for the Storm as the quarterback of the midfield. At the midfield, the Storm also returns senior Payten Biskupski (Bay City, Mich./Bay City) and sophomores Bethany Haramis (Norton, Ohio/Norton), Abigail O'Hair (Maumee, Ohio/Maumee) and Elizabeth Roesch (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central), all of whom saw significant playing time as freshmen last season.
Senior Grace Ferut (Medina, Ohio/Medina) will anchor the Storm on defense this season after starting all 17 games last year. She will be joined by returning sophomore Emma Miller (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), who appeared in every game last season. Ferut and Miller will lead the front line of the defense with senior Sara Stroope (Oxford, Ohio/Oxford) returning to her role as the goal keeper. Stroope totaled 106 saves last season, including eight games with eight or more saves. Against Grand Valley State University last year, Stroope made 18 saves, holding the top-ranked team in the country to just one goal.
The Storm adds eight newcomers to the roster this year to provide depth and competition to its returning veteran group.
The season opens up on Sept. 4 at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Painesville.