LANCASTER, Pa. – Perennial powers Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore lead the way in the 2019 Centennial Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll, with JHU edging the Garnet for the top spot in a vote among the conference head coaches. Hopkins collected seven first-place votes and 97 points to sit atop the preseason voting.
Two-time defending champion Swarthmore nabbed the other four first-place votes and compiled 92 points to finish in second place. McDaniel (78), Dickinson (67) and Gettysburg (66) were projected as playoff teams in third through fifth place, respectively, while Haverford (61) was close behind in sixth.
Muhlenberg was projected to take seventh place with 41 points, followed by Washington College (37), Franklin & Marshall (30), Ursinus (26) and Bryn Mawr (10).
The 2019 campaign begins on Friday Aug. 30 with nine of the 11 Centennial teams in action. Conference play commences on Saturday, Sept. 21, with the Centennial Conference Tournament slated to begin with first-round play on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The conference semifinals and championship are set for Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10 at the No. 1 seed.
For the second-straight season and third time in the last five years, Swarthmore secured the Centennial Conference championship last fall after defeating host Johns Hopkins 5-1 in the title game. It marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Garnet and Blue Jays squared off in the championship round, with those two squads winning each of the last five conference crowns (Swarthmore in 2018, 2017, 2014 & JHU in 2016, 2015).
Both the Garnet and the Blue Jays advanced to the NCAA Tournament, marking the seventh-straight year and 12th time in conference history that the Centennial was represented by multiple teams in the national postseason. Swarthmore downed Saint Joseph's (Me.) 5-1 and Virginia Wesleyan 3-0 in the opening rounds before falling to 2-0 to eventual national runner-up Middlebury in the Sweet 16, while Hopkins topped Cabrini 3-1 in the first round but was blanked by Misericordia 1-0 in round two.
A total of 22 All-Centennial players from 2018 return to the pitch this fall, including Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Maggie Coulson, who was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team last season.
2019 Centennial Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
|Rank | Institution (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Johns Hopkins (7)||97|
|2. Swarthmore (4)||92|
|8. Washington College||37|
|9. Franklin & Marshall||30|
|11. Bryn Mawr||10|