The Rutgers women’s soccer team kicks off its 2017 season this Friday at home against Loyola Marymount. On Monday, the Big Ten conference announced their preseason poll and named their preseason honors list of players. Rutgers fared well in both.
Rutgers, who are ranked 21st nationally in the preseason Coaches Poll, were selected to finish third in the Big Ten coaches poll on Monday. It was no surprise that Penn State was picked to win the conference, something they have done in 18 of the past 19 seasons. They actually were co-champs with Northwestern last season and the Wildcats were picked to finish second, making them the only other Big Ten team picked ahead of Rutgers.
In terms of the Big Ten preseason honors list, three Scarlet Knights were named, including senior forward Colby Ciarrocca, redshirt junior goalkeeper Casey Murphy, and sophomore midfielder Nicole Whitley.
Murphy returns after a season with the US Under-20 Women’s National Team and last week was named to the MAC Hermann Watch List, which is awarded to the top player in the nation each season. She was also named the top goalkeeper in the country by Top Drawer Soccer.
Ciarrocca was second on the team in goals (6) and total points (17) last season, while Whitley was third in goals (3) and total points (16). She also led the team in assists (10) and is the reigning Big Ten Freshmen of the Year.
We will have a full team preview ahead of the season opener later this week.