Eagles to open season as No. 21 ranked team in the nation

Eagles to open season as No. 21 ranked team in the nation

KANSAS CITY, Mo – The United Soccer Coaches have released the association's national preseason rankings for Division II women's soccer for the upcoming fall season, with the Carson-Newman Eagles checking in at No. 21 overall, respectively.

Finishing the 2018 campaign with a strong, 15-4-1 record with an appearance in the NCAA Regional Semifinals was more than enough for the Eagles to be slated into the preseason poll for a fourth-straight year. C-N finished the 2018 season ranked No. 22 in the season-ending poll.

"Good to start off the season in the top-25," head coach Simon Duffy said. "Hopefully we can continue to climb as the season progresses."

National champion runner-up Grand Valley State University (Mich.) was selected as the No. 1 team in the nation to begin the new season, with 2018 champion University of Bridgeport (Conn.) placed at the No. 2 spot. University of California-San Diego rounds out the top-3.

Conference foe Lincoln Memorial, who sent C-N home from the NCAA Regionals last season, is ranked No. 19 to begin play in 2019. The Eagles will have a chance to exact revenge on the Railsplitters on Sept. 18 at McCown Field. The contest also serves as the conference-opener for the Eagles.

Last season featured a slight stumble out of the gate after a pair of losses to two highly-acclaimed programs in West Florida and Columbus State. From there, however, C-N rattled off 12 victories in 13 contests to claim the South Atlantic Conference regular season championship.

Three out of four athletes representing Carson-Newman last season as SAC First-Team honorees (Magda Mosengo, Averi Williams and Alex Brandan) have graduated with the fourth member of the esteemed group, senior goalkeeper Jackie Burns, returning to secure the net once more this season. SAC Second-Team members Emilee Futrell and Jente Kuper will also return this season.

The team enters the year with a record of 63-8-2 over the past four seasons excluding tournament play and will look to maintain their spot in the rankings with a season-opening tilt against Bellarmine on Sept. 5.

To view the entire United Soccer Coaches' poll, click here.