INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler women's soccer team, which went 6-2-0 in league play and hosted the league championship last year, has been picked second in the Horizon League's women's soccer preseason poll. BU shared last year's regular season title with Milwaukee, who was voted as the favorite in the poll.
The voting was conducted by the nine Horizon League women's soccer coaches. The coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
"It is apparent that we earned some respect in the league last year and we are honored by the high ranking," head coach Tari St. John said. "However, it is also further indication that we will not be overlooked by anyone. The need to be prepared for every conference opponent will be essential in order to have that ranking in the final poll."
St. John was last year's Horizon League Coach of the Year after leading a team starting as many as eight freshmen to a regular season championship. The Bulldogs were the No. 1 seed and host of last year's league tournament and advanced to the championship match.
Butler returns nine of the team's top 11 scorers (89.7% of the team's scoring) in addition to four players who garnered All-Horizon League recognition from last year's team. Junior Katie Griswold was second in the league with nine goals last year, while sophomore Jackie Hafele was the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year. Both players were voted first team All-Horizon League. Sophomores Nikki Hafele and Olivia Colosimo were each named to the league's all-newcomer team.
Milwaukee, which Butler defeated 1-0 last year, was picked as the Horizon League favorite. Wright State, Detroit and Cleveland State round out the preseason poll's first five teams.
Butler will open the 2011 season with an exhibition at IPFW Wednesday, Aug. 10. Butler opens its regular season at home vs. Madonna University Friday, Aug. 19 at the Butler Bowl.