Reinhardt (Ga.) is projected to win the 2017 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) women's soccer championship, according the AAC Coaches' Preseason Poll released Monday.
Reinhardt captured nine of the 12 possible first-place votes in amassing 141 total voting points. Reinhardt won the 2016 regular-season crown with a 9-1 record. The Lady Eagles advanced to the NAIA National Championship Tournament, making it to the quarterfinal round with wins over MidAmerican Nazarene (Kan.) and then-No. 3 Keiser (Fla.). Reinhardt finished the year ranked No. 11 in the NAIA with a 17-3-1 record.
Tennessee Wesleyan picked up the remaining three first-place votes in compiling 130 points for second. The Lady Bulldogs finished fourth in the regular season in 2016 with a 6-3-1 mark but won the AAC Tournament with a 2-0 win over Bryan (Tenn.) in the title match. Tennessee Wesleyan also advanced to the NAIA Opening Round in ending the year with a 13-6-2 mark.
Point (Ga.) is third in the preseason poll with 107 points, while newcomer Brenau (Ga.) and Bryan picked fourth and fifth, respectively. Making up the second five are Columbia (S.C.) in sixth, Union (Ky.) in seventh, Truett McConnell (Ga.) in eighth, St. Andrews (N.C.) ninth, and Milligan (Tenn.) 10th. Montreat (N.C.) and Bluefield (Va.) round out the poll in 11th and 12th, respectively.
The AAC Tournament is set to begin with the opening round on Oct. 31 with the quarterfinal round scheduled for Nov. 3. The semifinal and championship rounds are slated for Nov. 7 and Nov. 10, respectively. All matches will be played at the highest remaining seed's home site.
2017 AAC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
School (1st Place Votes)
1. Reinhardt (9)
2. Tennessee Wesleyan (3)
8. Truett McConnell
9. St. Andrews