Defending GPAC tourney champs pegged second in GPAC poll

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 11, 2021 in Women's Soccer

2021 GPAC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll

SEWARD, Neb. – Based on expectations heading into the season, Concordia University Women’s Soccer is forecasted to compete near the top of the GPAC standings. In the 2021 conference preseason poll released on Wednesday (Aug. 11), the defending GPAC tournament champions checked in at No. 2 with 129 points and two first-place votes. A season ago, Head Coach Thomas Goines guided the Bulldogs into a tie for second in the regular season. They then went on a magical postseason run as part of an unusual two-part season.

Concordia returns many key performers, including 2020 All-GPAC honorees in Mikeila Martinez (first team), Grace Soenksen (first team), Allee Downing (second team), Madeline Haugen (honorable mention), Cheyenne Smith (honorable mention) and Michaela Twito (honorable mention). A four-year starter, Twito is on the verge of breaking a program record for most career games played. Meanwhile, Martinez paced the squad with seven goals last season.

Briar Cliff (No. 22) was the lone GPAC squad to receive recognition in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll announced on Wednesday. Concordia cracked the NAIA top 25 poll as recently as 2017 when it climbed as high as 21st. The highest ever national ranking for the program was achieved by the 2015 squad that ascended to No. 16. Four different Bulldog teams (all since 2014) have received votes at the conclusion of their campaigns.

Concordia will kick off the 2021 season on Aug. 28 when it hosts Tabor College (Kan.). Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.

2021 GPAC Preseason Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll
-First-place votes in parentheses

1. Briar Cliff – 136 (8)
2. Concordia – 129 (2)
3. Jamestown – 120 (3)
4. Morningside – 113
5. Hastings – 107
6. Midland – 84
7. Dakota Wesleyan – 75
8. Dordt – 73
9. Northwestern – 57
10. College of Saint Mary – 45
11. Mount Marty – 28
12. Doane – 25
13. Presentation – 20