Westfield State Slated to Claim 2018 MASCAC Women’s Soccer Championship

Westfield State Slated to Claim 2018 MASCAC Women’s Soccer Championship
Westfield State, the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions have been selected by the eight coaches from around the conference to defend their tournament crown during the 2018 season.
The Owls landed in first with three first place votes for 45 points in this year's poll. They earned a share of the 2017 regular season title with Bridgewater State and Worcester State after all three finished 6-1 in league action. Reigning MASCAC Player of the Year Bella Eduardo returns after netting 14 goals and six assists, including four game-winners for the Owls. Joining her is teammate Marissa McGue who tallied 14 points on five goals and four assists, including four game winning goals on her way to MASCAC All-Conference honors.  
Tied for second with 42 points are Bridgewater State and Worcester State. The Bears collected three first place votes while the Lancers had the final two. The All-Conference defensive duo of Kaitlyn Bongarzone and Molly Shield helped the Bears limit opponents to 6.7 shots on goal per game and helped produce seven shutouts and a team goals against average of 0.98. All-Conference midfielder Maddie Fong returns after netting 10 points on two goals and six assists, including two game-winners last season. 
Sitting in fourth with 29 points is Salem State. The Vikings were 4-3 during MASCAC play. Ashley Leboeuf tallied four goals and three assists for 11 points, including three game-winners for the squad during the 2017 campaign to earn a spot on the All-Conference team. 
Framingham State is fifth with 20 points. The Rams collected two wins last season.  Returning on defense is All-Conference honoree Erin Angelillo who helped the team hold their opponents to a 2.50 goals against average with two shutouts during the 2017 season. 
Coming up next in sixth is MCLA with 20 points. The Trailblazers had two wins during the MASCAC campaign in 2017. Back between the pipes is Megan Richardson who led the league with 139 saves and the fifth-best save percentage at .790 on her way to earning All-Conference honors.  
Finishing out the 2018 women's soccer poll in seventh and eighth are Fitchburg State and Massachusetts Maritime with 16 and 12 points, respectively.  The Falcons' Brittny Peralta netted three goals and an assist for seven points, including a game-winner during play last season.  For the Buccaneers, All-Conference forward Madison Taylor returns after leading the conference in goals with 18 and points with 37 while also netting three game-winning goals in 2017. 
The MASCAC women's soccer teams will start the 2018 campaign Labor Day weekend with non-conference play.

2018 MASCAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)

1. Westfield State (3) 45 points
2. Bridgewater State (3) 42 points
  Worcester State (2) 42 points
4. Salem State   29 points
5. Framingham State   20 points
6. MCLA   18 points
7. Fitchburg State   16 points
8.  Massachusetts Maritime   12 points

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