CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - In Head Coach Naomi Meiburger's inaugural season at the helm of the Greyhounds, the Loyola University Maryland women's soccer team was picked to finish eighth in the Patriot League preseason poll.
Boston University, which won the league championship title in the squad's first year with the conference, earned the top spot in the poll that is voted on by league coaches and sports information directors. The Terriers earned 15 first-place votes and received a total of 159 points.
The United States Naval Academy checked in second with 148 points. The Midshipmen, who finished first in the regular-season last year, received the remaining five first-place votes. The final squad to win 10-plus games last season, Colgate University, took third with a total of 131 points.
The United States Military Academy polled fourth with 101 points, and American University was fifth with 98. Bucknell University grabbed the sixth spot with 82 points, while Lehigh University came in seventh with 55 points. Loyola took eighth with 46 points, three more than College of the Holy Cross at ninth. Lafayette College finished tenth with 37 points.
Loyola returns eight starters after finishing last season with a young team that compiled 13 goals and two wins, including a, 2-0, shutout against American.
Junior Charlotte Miller finished tied for ninth in the Patriot League in goals, leading the Greyhounds with four during the 2013 campaign. Classmate Rosy Hayes and sophomores Maddie Boccio and Nicole Wahlig each scored two goals last season, returning to the lineup for Loyola.
Loyola opens its 2014 season this Friday, August 22, when it takes on George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, at 7 p.m.