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Hartford Women's Soccer Picked to Finish First in America East
The University of Hartford women's soccer team was picked to finish first in the America East Conference, according to an Aug. 14 poll of conference head coaches. The Hawks, who finished second last year, will open the 2013 season on Friday, Aug. 23, when they welcome the Bryant Bulldogs to Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium (behind the Sports Center).
The Hawks edged out reigning America East tournament champion Stony Brook by just two points, receiving five first-place votes and 61 points compared to four first-place votes and 59 points for the Seawolves. The voting was conducted by the conference's nine head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
The University of Maine came in third with 49 points, followed by Vermont in fourth with 38 points, and New Hampshire in fifth with 35 points.
Following an eight-game conference schedule, the top six teams will advance to the America East Championship, which begins with quarterfinal action on October 31 and continues with the semifinal round on November 3. The conference champion will be crowned on November 9 or 10, with the winner of the tournament receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.
The Hawks are coming off an 11-5-3 mark last season, including a 6-2-0 record in conference play before falling to Stony Brook, 1-0, in the America East title game.
Sophomore forward Elise Galipo is the team's top returning offensive threat, totaling four goals and three assists last season. She is joined by senior returners Arielle Aikens and Raelynn Mikell, who will serve as team captains. The Hawks welcome 13 new faces.