Oakland Favored to Capture Summit League Women's Soccer Title

Oakland - 2011 Women's Soccer Champions
Oakland - 2011 Women's Soccer Champions

ELMHURST, Ill. − After becoming the first fourth seeded team to win The Summit League Championship, Oakland has been selected as the preseason favorite to repeat for the title in a vote of the league's nine head coaches.

The Golden Grizzlies landed five first-place votes, while last season's regular season champion South Dakota State collected the remaining four first-place tallies. Kansas City edged out North Dakota State by one point for third place, followed by Fort Wayne in the fifth slot. IUPUI and Western Illinois tied for sixth while Omaha and South Dakota tied for eighth place to round out the poll.

Regular season play kicks off on Aug. 17, with Summit League play starting Sept. 28. The top four teams in the regular season standings will compete for The Summit League Women's Soccer Championship at Fishback Soccer Park in Brookings, S.D., Nov. 2 & 4. The tournament champion will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's College Cup.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies (10-11-1 Overall, 6-2-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 7/4 | Letterwinners R/L: 23/7 | Newcomers: 6
The Golden Grizzlies are looking for their second-straight tournament title and welcome back five all-league and two all-freshman selections from a year ago … Last season's tournament MVP Meghan Reynolds (17 points) leads the OU returnees, along with Julianne Boyle (8 points), Nicole DeLuca (9 points), Serena San Cartier (15 points) and Kara Weber (3 points) for head coach Nick O'Shea.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits (12-6-2 Overall, 8-0-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 5/6 | Letterwinners R/L: 12/8 | Newcomers: 10
The Jackrabbits have never missed qualifying for the league tournament and are looking to make their sixth consecutive one this season … Head coach Lang Wedemeyer's teams have never finished below third place in the standings since 2007 and have captured three regular season titles … Offensively, SDSU is led by all-league honoree Christa Nyblom (5 goals, 11 points), while all-league performer Stephanie Berube (2 points) anchors the backline. 

Kansas City Kangaroos (8-8-4 Overall, 6-2-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 9/2 | Letterwinners R/L: 22/6 | Newcomers: 18
The Kangaroos are coming off their first league tournament appearance last season and are led by Coach of the Year, Chris Cissell … Cissell welcomes back 22 letterwinners from a year ago and also enters 18 newcomers to the squad … Goalie Jami Finnell (1.46 GAA) returns for her senior campaign in net … UMKC's top three scorers from a year ago in Taylor Bare (19 points), Ashley Gann (9 points) and Zaina Mayer (7 points) also return.

North Dakota State Bison (15-4-2 Overall, 7-1-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 4/7 | Letterwinners R/L: 10/10 | Newcomers: 12
The Bison are coming off their third-straight Summit League Tournament and are looking for their second title this year … Katie Tallas is the top offensive returnee after scoring six goals last season … All-League performer Holly Christian and Brooklyn Dyce also return after tallying 10 points each.

Fort Wayne Mastodons (7-9-1 Overall, 4-4-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 8/14 | Newcomers: 14
The Mastodons are looking to make their first appearance in the league tournament this season behind the feet of Danielle Bishop (3 goals, 3 assists) and Tylar Allison (6 assists, 8 points) … Fort Wayne will be one of the younger teams in the league with 14 newcomers on the squad.

IUPUI Jaguars (3-12-4 Overall, 2-6-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 5/6 | Letterwinners R/L: 13/12 | Newcomers: 8
The Jaguars welcome back reigning Summit League Freshman of the Year Taylor Heidorn, who led the squad with 14 points last season … Also returning will be Kristin Pierce (4 assists) and Brooke Barczewski on defense, while goalkeepers Giselle Guzman and Kristin Haseley also return.

Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks (7-12-0 Overall, 1-8-0 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 7/4 | Letterwinners R/L: 23/8 | Newcomers: 4
Head coach Ted Flogaites enters his first season at the helm of the Leathernecks squad … Amber Davis (8 points) and Miranda Graham (6 points) return after leading the way offensively last season … Victoria Kappel also returns in net for WIU this year.

Omaha Mavericks (5-7-2 Overall)
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 11/10 | Newcomers: 7
The Mavericks enter their first season in The Summit League, returning six starters … Danielle Archuleta (2 goals, 1 assist) and defender Kerry Pivovar are two of Omaha's top returnees … Head coach Don Klosterman also welcomes seven newcomers to the mix this season.

South Dakota Coyotes (1-15-3 Overall, 1-7-1 Summit League)
Starters R/L: 10/1 | Letterwinners R/L: 19/5 | Newcomers: 10
The Coyotes welcome back 10 starters from last season, including the team's leading scorers Jenny Teslow (11 points) and Erin Bello (10 points) … All-Freshman team honoree Makenna Cameron (3 points) also returns for head coach Mandy Green.

2012 Summit League Women's Soccer Preseason Poll



Points (1st)

2011 Record



61 (5)

10-11-1 (6-2-1)


South Dakota State

59 (4)

12-6-2 (8-0-1)


Kansas City


8-8-4 (6-2-1)


North Dakota State


15-4-2 (7-1-1)


Fort Wayne


7-9-1 (4-4-1)




3-12-4 (2-6-1)


Western Illinois


7-12-0 (1-8-0)




5-7-2 (N/A)


South Dakota


1-15-3 (1-7-1)


Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 144,000 at nine universities, four of which are located in top 58 U.S. metro populations (Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Omaha). Member institutions include: Fort Wayne (Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City), Omaha (University of  Nebraska Omaha), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 54 All-Americans, 37 Academic All-America selections and seven NCAA Championships. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org to "See The Summit" or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.