Redbirds Tabbed as Preseason MVC Favorites
Aug 14, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State soccer team has been selected as the favorites in the Missouri Valley Conference for the second-straight year, after a vote by the conference's seven head coaches. Additionally, Anna Stinson, Rachel Tejada and Alyse Williams were named to the preseason all-conference team.
The Redbirds received five of seven first-place votes, claiming the top spot with 47 points overall. Drake tallied one first-place vote to place second in the poll with 39 points. Defending MVC regular-season champion Evansville is third with 33 points, while Indiana State, who the Redbirds defeated 5-1 in the 2012 MVC Tournament title match, is fourth with 23 points. Missouri State received 21 points overall and is fifth, while Northern Iowa tallied the final first-place vote and 17 points overall to place sixth. MVC newcomer Loyola rounds out the poll with 16 points.
ISU's three preseason all-conference selections tied Drake and Evansville for the most in the league. The Redbirds also placed three on last year's preseason all-conference team, all of whom went on to garner All-MVC First Team accolades.
Stinson, a senior midfielder from Kalamazoo, Mich., has been named an All-MVC performer the past three years, including a first team choice the last two. Last season, Stinson started 16 games for the Redbirds, tallying eight points on three goals and two assists. She scored a goal and added an assist in the MVC Tournament championship match win over Indiana State (Nov. 4), earning All-Tournament team honors. Stinson has played in 50 matches over her three years, notching 10 goals and 13 assists overall.
Tejada, a junior forward from Troy, Ill., is the two-time reigning MVC Player of the Year. She led the league last season with 18 goals, 10 assists, 46 points, 80 shots and four game-winning goals, and also ranked sixth nationally in points and seventh in goals. After just two seasons, Tejada already ranks second in the all-time Redbird records for points (97), goals (39) and assists (19). She was one of four unanimous preseason all-conference selections.
After redshirting in 2011, Williams, a redshirt-sophomore back from Lake in the Hills, Ill., was named to the MVC All-Freshman team in 2012. She appeared in 19 of 20 matches for the Redbirds, including 12 starts, seven of which came in the final eight games.
Additionally, five Redbirds were named to the College Sports Madness preseason All-MVC squad. Senior forward Kyla Cross joined Stinson, Tejada and Williams on the first team, while sophomore midfielder/forward Lauren Koehl was a second team selection. Tejada was tabbed as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, with head coach Drew Roff being named preseason Coach of the Year.
After being selected as the favorites last year, ISU finished second to Evansville in the regular-season MVC standings with a 4-2-0 conference record before taking home its second-straight MVC Tournament crown.
The Redbirds will play in two exhibition matches before the season-opener, beginning with a 2 p.m., tilt at Eastern Michigan today. Iowa State will come to Adelaide Street Field for another friendly Sunday, before the season officially opens Friday, Aug. 23, at home against Miami (Ohio).
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