Minnesota Crookston Soccer picked 16th in the NSIC Preseason Soccer Coaches' Poll
The University of Minnesota Crookston soccer team was picked 16th in the 2021 NSIC Preseason Soccer Coaches' Poll released Monday, August 16 by the conference office. The Golden Eagles received 26 points in the poll.
Minnesota State University, Mankato was selected first in the NSIC Preseason Soccer Coaches' Poll with nine first-place votes and 218 overall points. Augustana University was second with three first-place votes and 202 points, while Concordia University-St. Paul placed third with 200 points and four first-place votes.
Jenny Vetter of Minnesota State was selected as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Megan Dahl of Bemidji State University was picked as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The UMN Crookston soccer team returns to the pitch for the first time since the 2019 season after the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Minnesota Crookston is entering their third season under Head Coach Kyle Halfpop. The Golden Eagles will have a young squad in 2021 with just two players who competed on the 2019 squad with Ashley Chomyn (R-So., MF, Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Gabriela Pinto (R-Sr., D, Beaverton, Ore.). The Golden Eagles will have a host of new players who will look to make an impact in 2021. Two players to keep an eye on will be Madelyn Teplansky (R-Fr., F, Apple Valley, Calif.) and Alyssa Pavlacic (R-Jr., D, St. Charles, Mo.). The Golden Eagles open up the 2021 season Saturday, Sept. 4 at Dakota Wesleyan University.
"I’m really excited about this team as we will look completely different than our 2019 season," said Head Coach Kyle Halfpop. "We only have two returning players from that squad, so we have a fresh approach to 2021. The mentality of this group is strong and they are creating the foundation for our program to be built. We will be extremely young and I think that brings a lot of good enthusiasm and a hunger to succeed."
Teplansky was named the Offensive Player to Watch for the Golden Eagles, while Pavlacic was selected as the Defensive Player to Watch. Both will be in their first years on the pitch for the Golden Eagles. They were on the roster in 2020, but the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
"Maddie works incredibly hard and has the work ethic up front that we have missed in the past," Halfpop stated. "She is comfortable on the ball and does not get rattled under pressure. She can play anywhere across the front three and if needed, can drop deep to collect the ball. Maddie is very strong with both feet which makes her tough to defend. She is always looking to score or set up goals"
"Alyssa is a natural leader for us," stated Halfpop. "She is extremely committed to our project here and helping to progress our program. She is a tenacious defender and shows a grittiness to win the ball. Her positioning is getting better as we transition her to a center back role. She is comfortable on the ball and will play a large role in starting attacks for us."