Madie Gibson was named the MAAC women’s preseason player of the year. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth University)

EDISON, N.J. – The Monmouth University women’s soccer team, the four-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season champions and defending MAAC Tournament champions, has been voted to claim the top spot in the conference this season.

Redshirt sophomore forward Madie Gibson was named the MAAC preseason player of the year, while teammates Rachelle Ross, Gabriella Cuevas and Amanda Knaub joined her on the preseason All-MAAC team.

The Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Preseason All-MAAC Team, which are voted on by the league’s eleven head coaches, were revealed on Tuesday evening during the 2017 preseason soccer awards show on MAAC.TV.

“It is an honor to be selected as the preseason favorite to win the league title,” head coach Krissy Turner said. “We have worked extremely hard to establish a successful program, but there is more work to be done. We cannot rest on our laurels as we have a big target on our back and need to continue to improve on a daily basis.”

Monmouth earned 119 points and 10 first-place votes in the poll, followed by Quinnipiac, which got 101 points and one first-place vote. Rider finished just behind the Bobcats with 96 points and Siena was fourth with 95 points.

Gibson joins Alexis McTamney (class of 2017) as the second Monmouth player to be named MAAC preseason player of the year and returns to the Hawks after being named the conference’s rookie of the year in 2016. Gibson totaled 33 points with 12 goals and nine assists.

“Madie had a tremendous 2016 season and was one of the best players in the league,” Turner said. “It will be more difficult for Madie this year as all of the teams are well aware of her talents, but I am confident she will rise to the challenge as she has a goal scorer’s mentality.”

A 2016 second team All-MAAC defender, Cuevas started all 21 games for Monmouth and was part of a defensive unit that totaled 11 shutouts. Cuevas contributed one goal and one assist.

“Gabby is a seasoned veteran,” Turner said. “She leads by example in all that she does and we are excited to have her back for her final season.”

Knaub was also a second team honoree in 2016 as well as an All-rookie team pick in her freshman season. She started 18 games and posted a 13-2-2 record with nine shutouts and recorded a 0.69 goals-against average.

Ross enters her senior season after collecting first team All-MAAC, National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Region third team and NSCAA Scholar All-region second team honors in 2016. She has earned All-MAAC accolades in each of her three years in West Long Branch and scored nine of her 10 goals during league play in 2016.

“Rachelle is a powerful attacking player,” Turner said. “Her speed makes her very difficult to contain in 1 v 1 situations and she is a threat to score with either foot at any moment.”

Monmouth begins its 2017 season on Friday at 6 p.m. against Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. The match will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network.

 

MAAC preseason team

Forward:

Gretta Dry – Canisius

Erica Modena – Manhattan

Camille Bowen – Marist

Madie Gibson – Monmouth

Ellie Smith – Rider

Midfield:

Rachelle Ross – Monmouth

Nadya Gill – Quinnipiac

Michele Tremblay – Siena

Madison Vasquez – Siena

Back:

Gabriella Cuevas – Monmouth

Meghan McCabe – Rider

Amanda Holtzman – Siena

Hanna Longendyke – Siena

Goalkeeper:

Amanda Knaub – Monmouth

Preseason Player of the Year

Madie Gibson – Monmouth

Coaches’ Poll:

  1. Monmouth – 120 (10)
  2. Quinnipiac – 101 (1)
  3. Rider – 96
  4. Siena – 95
  5. Marist – 71
  6. Canisius – 57
  7. Manhattan – 53
  8. Fairfield – 51
  9. Niagara – 46
  10. Iona – 25
  11. Saint Peter’s – 11