Defending America East Champion Stony Brook is expected to face some stiff competition for its title in the conference’s upcoming women’s soccer season.
The Conference Preseason Coaches Poll has New Hampshire in the top spot for the first time since 2015 with 57 points (4 first place votes) with the Seawolves in second with 54 points (3 first place votes) and Binghamton in third with 52 points (1 first place vote). Rounding out the top four is Hartford with 44 points (1 first place vote).
According to conference officials, the 2018 poll is the first time in at least 20 seasons that just five points separated the top three teams in the poll and only 13 points split the top four.
The vote was conducted by the conference’s nine head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
While New Hampshire and Binghamton share the America East regular-season title, Stony Brook captured the conference championship as the No. 5 seed with a 2-1 win over Vermont.
America East officials said that 29 players who earned All-Conference or All-Rookie status last year will be back this season, including eight first-team All-America East selections. Among those eight, all five major award winners return, including Binghamton’s Kayla Saager (Striker of the Year) of East Islip and Stony Brook’s Sofia Manner (Rookie of the Year).