SDSU Tabbed Second In Preseason Soccer Poll

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SIOUX FALLS ( – The South Dakota State women’s soccer program was picked to finish second in the Summit League Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league office announced Tuesday. Maya Hansen and Rachel Preston were named to the league’s Players to Watch list.

Denver was picked to finish first with 81 points and nine first-place votes, while the Jacks totaled 73 points and one first-place vote. Omaha (62) and South Dakota (58) rounded out the top four spots in the poll.

The Jackrabbits posted a second-place regular season finish and a 12-0-5 record in their spring 2021 campaign, SDSU’s league-best eighth consecutive double-digit win season. SDSU returns 82% of its minutes and 96% of its goals from a season ago to the roster this fall.

Hansen, a First-Team All-Summit League selection last season, tied for first on the team and third in the league with seven goals. The Savage, Minn. native tallied 16 points which was tied for the fifth-most in the conference. Hansen was responsible for two game-winning goals and scored at least one goal in five different contests last season.

Preston, a spring 2021 Second-Team All-Summit League selection, returns to anchor a Jackrabbit defense that proved to be one of the toughest in the nation to score on last season. The Lakeville, Minn. native was part of a defensive effort that tallied 11 shutouts and allowed only five goals the entire season. SDSU surrendered only 0.279 goals/game, the second-best mark in the nation.

Summit League Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(First Place votes in parentheses)
1. Denver – 89 (9)
2. South Dakota State – 73 (1)
3. Omaha – 62
4. South Dakota – 58
5. North Dakota State – 44
6. Kansas City – 37
7. North Dakota – 29
8. Oral Roberts – 26
9. St. Thomas – 21
10. Western Illinois – 19

Summit League Players to Watch
Natalie Beckman – Denver
Sami Feller – Denver
Maya Hansen – South Dakota State
Rachel Preston – South Dakota State
Margaret LaVigne – Omaha
Sophia Green – Omaha
Alexis Mitchell – South Dakota
Joana Zanin – South Dakota
Olivia Lovick – North Dakota State
Ellie Schneider – North Dakota State
Emma Wilson – Kansas City
Kassi Ginther – Kansas City
Mary Gasaway – North Dakota
Alyssa Prisock – North Dakota
Martha Helsee – Oral Roberts
Mia Kitterman – Oral Roberts
Alex Balfour – St. Thomas
Gaba Palazzo – St. Thomas
Amy Andrews – Western Illinois
Angie Knies – Western Illinois