|Junior Jackie Wishoski|
BOSTON -- The University of New Hampshire women's soccer team, which finished fourth in the 2003 conference standings with a 5-2-2 record, was selected third in the 2004 America East Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday afternoon by the league.
UNH garnered 65 points to place behind defending champion Boston University (81 points, nine first-place votes) and Maine (67; 1). The Wildcats were followed in the poll by Hartford (54), Northeastern (51), Stony Brook (37), UMBC (36), Binghamton (30), Vermont (20) and Albany (9).
New Hampshire returns 10 starters and 17 letterwinners overall from last year's team that advanced to the semifinals of the America East Championships. The Wildcats will be led by the record-setting forward tandem of senior captain Chiara Best (Rose Valley, Pa.) and junior Jackie Wishoski (Malden, Mass.). Both players broke the program's record for points in a season as Best compiled 30 points (12 goals, six assists) and Wishoski amassed 41 points that included a school-record 18 goals. The defense is anchored by senior Shannon Oltman (Edmonds, Wash.) and junior captain Debbie Newman (Union, Conn.), and senior Liz MacKay (Scituate, Mass.) returns in goal.
UNH opens the 2004 season Aug. 28 at the UVM Soccer Classic against Lafayette. The first Wildcats' home match is Sept. 9 vs. intrastate rival Dartmouth College. Game time at Lewis Fields is 4 p.m.
The top six teams in the final conference standings will advance to the America East Championships and the winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup.