October 29, 2014 by Keith Raynor in Rankings with 8 comments
We are excited to present the first installment of this year’s preseason College Power Rankings in the Women’s Division! These rankings are based holistically on a number of factors: last year’s performance, roster changes, conversations with coaches, the “eye test”, and assorted other factors.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next installment: #15 – #6.
25. Wisconsin Bella Donna (2014: 3rd in North Central)
Lorraine Guerin (Heist) leads the way for a Wisco squad that’s looking to bounce back from an underwhelming season last year. Losing Sara Scott is hard, but Anna Hrovat-Staedter (Heist) is primed for a big season. Adding youth star Maggie Kennedy (Nemesis) will provide a huge boost. They’ll have do better than their 4-10 start in 2014, and could use a few marquee wins that last year lacked.
24. North Carolina Pleiades (2014: 2nd in Atlantic Coast)
It is unfortunate the Cohen/Couper era went out with a whimper instead of bang. But now there’s a new generation of youngsters ready to ride upon the AC. Claire Pauley and Elena Wong will be the vets, but this is the beginning of Jenny Wei and Rachel Simpson’s Pleiades; all four played with Phoenix this past season. New coaching staff, new stars, new year.
23. San Diego State Gnomes (2014: T-5th in Southwest)
SDSU was below the cut, finishing T-5th in the Southwest last year. They return nearly their entire roster, including their top 3 assists and their goals leader. Leilani Jones and Staci Howard lead the way for the returner heavy Southwest upstarts. Ran out of steam in backdoor semis last year, but deeper squad should help them in gauntlet region.
22. Iowa State Woman Scorned (2014: 2nd in North Central)
Cami Nelson’s (CLX) still an incredible force and potentially the best player in the North Central as a 5th year senior. Linda Behrer, Britnee Grimshaw, and Samantha Sauerbrei are ready to step into central roles. Liz Kaloupek (CLX) gives this team another crucial weapon in difficult North Central region. Better showings at QCTU and Centex could have them in the bid race they missed out on in 2014.
21. Florida State Seminole Ladies (2014: 2nd in Southeast)
Been on the cusp for so many years, but this year bring back nearly their entire roster. Lisa Fitton (Tabby Rosa) is ready to bust out as a handler and defender, and if Kristin Lloyd can stay on the field, she’ll finally get to show the nation what she can do. Deep, focused, and athletic, they could win the Southeast this year if they can shore up their inconsistent mental game.
20. Michigan Flywheel (2014: T-5th at Nationals, Great Lakes Champion)
Quite a bit of talent has vacated the Flywheel roster, notably Meeri Chang, Becky Moore, and Theresa Zettner. They hand the keys over to Hannah Henkin (Green Means Go) and Carolyn Vlach (Handlebar). Along with Tracey Lo (Handlebar), that’s a strong handling core, but they’ll need some impressive cutters to throw to.
19. Central Florida Sirens (2014: T-3rd at Nationals, Southeast Champion)
The rise from nonexistent to national notables was a treat to watch and one of the best stories of recent memory. Now, without Sunny Harris, Mariel Hammond, and a large swath of veteran contributors, Steph Williams, Alexa Wood, Shayna Brock, and freshman Janina Freystaetter lead the way. Coach Joe Tilley (Ultiworld Co-Coach of the Year 2014) will have his team – and their effective zone – in fighting shape.
18. Victoria Vixens (2014: T-13th at Nationals, 6th in Northwest)
After their first trip to nationals, the Vixens will need to try and accomplish the feat again without Danie Proby’s help. Kate Scarth is for real downfield, and Kate Beukeboom and Corinne Dunwoody keep them from being a one trick pony. Still, they’ll need to scrap and claw all season, with every other region after their bid. Played just two regular season tournaments last year; will that be enough this time?
17. Kansas Betty (2014: T-13th at Nationals, South Central Champion)
After finally getting invited back to the dance, Kansas found the steps hard; they came home from Cincinnati winless. Caitlin Fitzgerald and Jenni Corcoran will lead the way was handlers, but Clare Frantz’s downfield play may be the key for a successful Betty showing. They’ll need to develop their younger players – and show Kansas can be a program in the process – if the want to get asked back out on the dance floor.
16. Georgia Dawgma (2014: T-7th in Southeast)
Already won (a much weaker) Classic City Classic, but last year fell pretty far down the ladder. But Hannah Leathers (Southeast Player of the Year 2014) and Lane Siedor (both with multiple years for Ozone) are back as one of country’s best duos. But UGA’s depth of quality returners makes them a real threat to compete with top teams and make an impressive rebound towards the top of the Southeast.
#15-#6 will be revealed tomorrow; #5-#1 will be revealed on Friday.