The WCHA women's preseason poll came out today, and Minnesota State was picked to finish sixth. The Mavericks finished sixth last season as well. Here is the coaches' predicted order of finish:
1. Minnesota (7 first-place votes) 49 points
2. Wisconsin (1) 42
3. North Dakota 36
4. Ohio State 31
5. Minnesota Duluth 27
6. Minnesota State 17
7. (tie) Bemidji State 11
7. (tie) St. Cloud State 11
Minnesota sophomore forward Hannah Brandt was voted preseason player of the year, getting five votes. Wisconsin senior goalie Alex Rigsby received the other three votes.
Preseason rookie of the year went to Minnesota forward Dani Cameranesi with three votes. Wisconsin forward Sarah Nurse received two votes. One vote apiece went to Bemidji State goalie Brittni Mowat, North Dakota defenseman Halli Krzyaniak and Duluth forward Ashleigh Brykaliuk.
Saturday (Sept. 21) marks the official start of the women's season. Minnesota State will host Mercyhurst in a two-game nonconference series Sept. 27-28 at All Seasons Arena.
Coach Eric Means is beginning his fifth season with the Mavericks. Some key returning players include forwards Tracy McCann (15 goals, 26 points last year) and Kathleen Rogan (20 points) and goalie Danielle Butters (.913 save percentage). Many eyes also will be on freshman Savannah Quandt of Mankato East, who committed to MSU after her sophomore season.