Grizzlies Picked to Finish Second in HCAC Women's Soccer Pre-Season Poll

Grizzlies Picked to Finish Second in HCAC Women's Soccer Pre-Season Poll

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Fresh off the heels of the team's first conference tournament championship, the Franklin women's soccer has been picked to finish second by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) coaches in 2018.

The Grizzlies rolled to a 14-5 record last year, going 7-1 in league play and sweeping through the conference tournament without allowing a goal to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Cristin Allen's club collected 81 points and three of the 10 available first place votes.

Franklin sits three points behind pre-season favorites Mount St. Joseph, who the Grizzlies knocked off 2-0 in the conference championship game a year ago. The Lions picked up 84 total points and four first place votes. Hanover (77 pts), Transylvania (64 pts), Anderson (60 pts) and Rose-Hulman (60 pts) round out the rest of the top-five. The complete poll can be found below.

Additionally, senior forward Maddie Fleet, junior forward Taylor McDaniel and junior goalkeeper Lexi Short have been named "Players to Watch" by the conference. Fleet is coming off another dominant campaign that saw her score a league-high 25 goals and add six assists for 56 points, earning her third straight HCAC Offensive Player of the Year award.

McDaniel continued to provide critical secondary scoring for the Grizzlies in 2017, potting five goals and six assists for 16 points, finishing third on the team in scoring. No goal she scored was bigger than early in the first half against Mount St. Joseph in the HCAC title match, one that would go on to be the game-winning tally.

Short is set to resume her starting goalkeeper duties for the third straight year. The Avon, Ind.-native went 13-5 for Franklin a year ago, carrying a 0.84 goals against average and an .863 save percentage. She was named First Team All-HCAC for the first time and enters the year with a career GAA of 0.67 and a save percentage of .864 in 34 games.

Franklin opens the 2018 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1, when they travel north to take on Concordia (Wis.). Kick-off is set for 1:00 p.m.

Team (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Mount St. Joseph (4)

84

2. Franklin (3)

81

3. Hanover (2)

77

4. Transylvania

64

5. Anderson (1)

60

    Rose-Hulman

60

7. Earlham

43

8. Manchester

32

9. Defiance

25

10. Bluffton

24