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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bridgeport Picked to Repeat as ECC Women's Soccer Champions


Central Islip, N.Y. - The University of Bridgeport women's soccer team, East Coast Conference Champions in 2013, have been picked to repeat by the league's coaches in the 2014 preseason poll. Junior forward Susanne Vistnes (Randaberg, Norway) from LIU Post takes home the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award for the second straight year, while Ashleigh Berg (Plymouth, Mass.), a senior back from Bridgeport, was voted the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

After winning their second ECC title in three years a season ago, Bridgeport received seven of 10 first place votes to finish atop the ECC preseason rankings with 89 points. The Purple Knights, who finished last season with an 18-3-0 overall record, welcome back 10 players to the roster who started at least 10 games during their championship campaign. Bridgeport also beings the season ranked No. 20 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Top 25 poll.

LIU Post, with 79 points, narrowly edges Mercy, with 78 points, for the second spot in the poll. Both schools received one first place vote in the rankings, as well. LIU Post made their seventh straight appearance in the ECC Championship last season and finished with a mark of 13-5-0. Mercy put together the best season in program history in 2013, making their first ever appearances in the ECC Championship, the ECC Championship Final, and the NCAA Tournament.

Vistnes is awarded the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season. In 2013, Vistnes lead the Pioneers and the ECC with 14 goals and 34 points. She also finished tied for fifth in the conference with six assists. Her outstanding season led to her repeat selections as the ECC Offensive Player of the Year and a NSCAA Third Team All-American.

Berg takes home the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor after being a key cog in a stout Bridgeport back-line in 2013. A Second Team All-Conference and All-Region selection, Berg started 19 games for a Purple Knights squad that allowed only 14 goals and a conference-leading 0.67 goals against average.

2014 ECC Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
School                               Pts.          2013 Record
1. Bridgeport (7)                  89            18-3-0 (8-1-0 ECC)
2. LIU Post (1)                    79            13-5-0 (6-3-0 ECC)
3. Mercy (1)                        78            13-5-1 (7-2-0 ECC)
4. Roberts Wesleyan           69            11-5-2 (6-3-0 ECC)
5. Dowling                          68            12-3-2 (5-3-1 ECC)
6. Queens                          55            11-6-1 (6-3-0 ECC)
7. Molloy (1)                       41             3-13-1 (3-5-1 ECC)
8. NYIT                              33             6-10-1 (2-7-0 ECC)
T9. Daemen                       19             10-10-0 (1-8-0 ECC)
T9. St. Thomas Aquinas      19             2-12-0 (0-9-0 ECC)

( ) – first place votes

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About the ECC
Founded as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1989 and rechristened the East Coast Conference in July 2006, the ECC was formed to enhance intercollegiate athletic competition among member institutions and to assist them in integrating athletics into their academic program in a fiscally sound way. The ECC is committed to the highest standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, teamwork, and citizenship. Its mission is to promote the total person concept in its student-athletes, which stresses the abilities to excel in academic achievement, athletic competition, and positive character traits. East Coast Conference members include: University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Conn.); University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Daemen College (Amherst, N.Y.); Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.); LIU Post (Brookville, N.Y.); Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); Molloy College (Rockville Centre, N.Y.); New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.); Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.); Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, N.Y.) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.). Associate Members include: Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dominican College (Orangeburg, N.Y.), and Georgian Court University (Lakewood, N.J.).

The ECC sponsors the following championship sports: baseball; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s cross country; men’s and women’s lacrosse; softball; men’s and women’s tennis; men’s and women’s indoor track and field; men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; men’s and women’s soccer; and women’s volleyball.

The East Coast Conference is a proud member of the NCAA and Division II. Division II is a dynamic and engaging group of colleges, institutions and conferences of varying sizes and educational missions. Division II members encourage and support diversity; value sportsmanship, fairness and equity; and place the highest priority on the overall educational excellence of the student-athlete.

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