CARMEL, Ind. – The Franklin College women's soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the league by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) coaches in the pre-season poll, released on Tuesday (Aug. 20) morning.
Coming off an 8-9-1 season with a 5-4 record in conference play, the Grizzlies earned 47 points and placed six players on the league's list of Players to Watch, which included five returning starters from last year's club. Lexi Short, Taylor McDaniel, Jalynn Gorman, Madison Short, Mackenzie Yoder and Mackenzie Wilhelm were all recognized by the league, joining the best in the conference.
Short enters her senior year as a three-year starter between the pipes. The Avon, Ind.-native is a two-time First Team All-HCAC selection and was an honorable mention selection one year ago. She holds program records for career wins (33) and shutouts (13) and sits second all-time with 256 saves.
McDaniel is coming off her third straight Second Team All-HCAC selection, netting a pair of goals and dishing out four assists for eight points last year while splitting time between the attack and the midfield. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native has accumulated 16 goals and 17 assists over the last three years, and enters the season tied for fourth on the program's scoring list with 49 points.
Gorman enjoyed a breakout junior campaign, finishing second on the Grizzlies with 20 points on seven goals and six assists. The Clayton, Ind.-native also collected her second career HCAC Player of the Week award after netting a career-high four goals in the team's 2018 opening match.
Both Yoder and Madison Short earned valuable experience in the defensive end as true freshmen, with Short starting all 18 games as the holding mid with Yoder playing in 17 contests on the back line. Wilhelm, a freshman forward from Fort Wayne, Ind., will aim to add some scoring punch to the Franklin attack as a rookie.
Defending regular season champion Hanover was picked to repeat by the league's coaches, earning 76 points and four first place votes. Last year's conference tournament champion Mount St. Joseph placed second overall with 75 points, picking up four first place votes. The entire poll can be found below.
Franklin opens the 2019 campaign on Friday, Aug. 30 at home against Trine University. Kick-off from Faught Stadium is set for 5:00 p.m.
|School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Hanover (4)||76|
|2. Mount St. Joseph (4)||75|
|3. Transylvania (1)||64|