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MVC & MAC promise much women's competition

Published: August 10, 2010

This continues our series of daily articles previewing each men's and women's college conference. All the conference previews can be found here.

Some tough-to-call battles for conference championships are on tap as the Missouri Valley and Mid American conferences prepare to being their league seasons. Read on to see how the teams stack up for the upcoming season.

Missouri Valley Conference

Defending regular season and MVC Tournament champion Illinois State will try to defend its crown, but the list of teams looking to ascend to the league title is a long one. Drew Roff’s Redbirds return leading scorers Jessica Carlson, Alyssa Schulz and Rachel Bostick.

womens college soccer playerBrittney Neumann (Creighton)
Missouri State returns Rachel Weimer to the front line and Jordan Reppell to the defensive unit, while Brittney Neumann is back at Creighton after a good freshman year. She will be joined in the goal-scoring department by Beth Fyles, Emily Orbell, Kelly Connolly and Andrea Zuniga.

Lindsey Horner’s Drake Bulldogs return starting goalkeeper Kourtney Arnold and defender Bailey Dorrington, but will have to replace 7 graduating seniors. Indiana State on the other hand returns 8 starters, including defender Casey Albright, midfielder Alison Gasparovich and forward Seyma Erenli.

Evansville has been rocked during this preseason with a tragic auto accident involving standout player Abby Guerra. Friends and family were initially informed that Guerra had died in the accident, but upon gathering in Arizona for the funeral, were told that another passenger in the car instead had been killed. Guerra has survived but with critical head and back injuries.

Northern Iowa looks to recover from a tough 2009 season (2-11-3). Midfielder Chelsie Hochstedler returns as the team’s leading scorer.

Mid American Conference

womens college soccer playerChelsea Detrick (Eastern Michigan)
The real question in the MAC this year is whether anyone can beat the Chippewas. Central Michigan won the conference regular season and tournament before pulling off a big upset over Purdue of the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament.

Tom Anagnost’s team is loaded again, returning goalkeeping standout Shay Mannino and the entire starting defensive unit, along with forwards Chelsi Abbott and Laura Twidle and midfielder Valerie Prause.

Toledo had won 3 consecutive MAC Tournament prior to last season. Erin Flynn and Lauren Baker lead the list of returning Rockets. Eastern Michigan also returns some strength, including Chelsea Detrick and Julie Kaim.

Nikolette Rivera and Nicole Dulyea are back at Western Michigan, while Mo Smunt and Kelsey Passaglia are back at Northern Illinois. Jordan Baranowski returns at Akron, while Kristina Anderson and Cortney Coombs will be in action for Ball State.

Kelsey Pichel returns at Ohio(w) while Brooke Livingston in back at Miami(OH)(w) and Stephanie Velez at Buffalo. Keely Chandler will be back at Bowling Green. Kellyn Flanagan and Vanessa Salerno will lead the offense at Kent State.

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