FHSU Women’s Soccer Picked Fourth in MIAA Preseason Poll

Courtesy of FHSU Athletics

Coming off a strong season which saw Fort Hays State capture a share of the MIAA regular season crown, the Tigers head into the 2017 season picked fourth in the MIAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The newest rankings were released on Thursday (Aug. 10).

Earlier this month, the Tigers also captured its first-ever national ranking as they came in at No. 14 in the nation. Last season, Fort Hays State went 15-5-3, while boasting a 10-1-0 record in the conference. After earning a share of the MIAA title in 2016, the Tigers have now finished in the top third of the MIAA for the third-straight year. Fort Hays State also extended its strong campaign last year as it earned only its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament where the Tigers advanced to the round of 16.

2017 Fort Hays State Women's Soccer Preview

This season, the Tigers will see some old faces while bringing in fresh talent. Most notably, Fort Hays State is the new home for former Kansas Wesleyan coach Blake Reynolds who takes over for Craig Shaw. Reynolds brings eight years of NAIA coaching experience with him to campus. As far as the roster, the Tigers bring back 15 veterans to the field, while welcoming 10 athletes including two transfers. Among the returners are four All-MIAA selections in Bailey Schmitz, Taryn SchnellEden Stoddard and Jasmine Beaulieu. Schmitz and Schnell look to continue to anchor a defense which in 2016 held its opponents to just 15 goals in 23 matches, good for .65 a contest. This defense also set a new program record with 12 shutouts during the year.

Offensively, midfielders Stoddard and Beaulieu are back after to lead an offense which was stifling during 2016. The Tigers were able to net 44 goals in their 23 matches, outscoring their competition 44-15. The offense was even stronger when games came down to the wire and in late stages of play as the Tigers outscored their opponents 27-10 in the second half.

Preseason for the Tigers will kick off on Saturday, August 19 as they host Hutchinson Community College in their first exhibition match. Fort Hays State will then match-up against coach Reynolds’ former program when it travels to Salina to for an exhibition meeting with Kansas Wesleyan on Saturday, August 26. The regular season for the Tigers commences on Thursday, August 31 when they hit the road to take on Southwest Minnesota State in Topeka. The first MIAA contest for Fort Hays State will be against Emporia State at home on Sunday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m.

Below is the 2017 MIAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

2017 MIAA Women’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Central Missouri (11) 121
2. Central Oklahoma 108
3. Northeastern State 95
4. Fort Hays State (1) 93
5. Lindenwood 77
6. Missouri Western 74
7. Emporia State 65
8. Washburn 55
9. Nebraska-Kearney 38
10. Northwest Missouri 32
11. Missouri Southern 23
12. Southwest Baptist 11

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