SSU WSOC picked 7th in MSC poll


PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State University women’s soccer team claimed a seventh-place showing in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Poll, as announced by MSC officials on Friday morning.

Natasha Ademakinwa’s group — which finished seventh in the conference standings last season and finished 8-7 to claim the women’s program’s first winning record since the 2017 season — notched 54 points in the poll, edging Thomas More (Ky.) by two points and Georgetown (Ky.) by seven to claim the seventh spot.

Tennessee-Southern — formerly known as Martin Methodist — notched 116 points and nine first-place votes to lead the pack of Mid-South Conference schools, while Cumberlands (Ky.), which posted 110 points and two first-place votes, grabbed second place.

Lindsey Wilson (100 points) and Cumberland, Tenn. (92 points) were third and fourth in the poll, while Bethel’s (Tenn.) 81 points and a first-place vote rounded out the top-five positions.

Campbellsville’s 70 points were followed by SSU, Thomas More and Georgetown, while Life (Ga.) rounded out the top-10 with 37 tallies.

Freed-Hardeman’s (Tenn.) 22 points and Pikeville’s (Ky.) 11 notches concluded the MSC field.

Shawnee State, which punched two places above its slotting in last season’s MSC Preseason Poll, will look to do the same again with a strong mix of returnees and incoming recruits that have the potential to be one of SSU’s best women’s soccer teams ever fielded.

Along with standout scorers Paige Alford and Alba Closa Tarres; the return of midfielders Brenna Woodard, Madison Culp, Haynna Addy, Lucy Snyder, Kiki Spence and Sydney Kohler; the strong defense of Eilidh Mchattie, Hannah Sponsel, Molly Ewry, Ramiah Wallace, Breanna Murphy and Bianca Robinson as well as the return of second-team all-MSC goalkeeper Shelbi Ritchie among many other important figures to the unit, Shawnee State also brings in instant offense in Spaniard Carliota Ipina Taylor and Findlay transfer Madison Humble — along with standout defensive backline players in Jule Kalmer and Daan Louwerse.

Behind those figures, Leonie Heck adds important depth at goalkeeper, while Amber Whenham’s play in the midfield will also be crucial.

Tenley McNutt, Aurie Coriell and Bjarndis Birgisdottir round out the nine-person recruiting class.

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