LEWISBURG, Pa. – The defending Patriot League champion Bucknell women’s soccer team was well represented on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, announced by the league office on Wednesday. The Bison tied a league-best three athletes honored on the 11-player squad. In addition, senior forward Kendall Ham was chosen as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Recently named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, Ham earns Preseason Offensive Player of the Year recognition for the second consecutive season. Ham was the Patriot League’s most feared striker in 2016, leading the league in points (35), goals (15) and game-winning goals (5). A 2016 First Team All-Mid-Atlantic-Region honoree, Ham has received all-league honors each of the last two seasons, while becoming the first Bison in program history to earn All-America status in 2016.
Cirovski started all 20 games for the Bison in 2016 and was critical to Bucknell’s success on defense. A First Team All-Mid-Atlantic-Region selection last season, the center back played the full distance 16 times, contributing to 10 shutouts while helping the Bison allow the fewest goals in the Patriot League. Cirovski has proven to be a dual threat, finishing with two goals and five assists for nine points.
Mulford created a great 1-2 combo with Ham last season and the duo hopes to continue their success in 2017. Her 26 points and nine goals were second-most behind Ham, while her eight assists led the Patriot League. The forward recorded a point in 13 of 15 games started last season, including in 11 straight contests.
Julianna Chen of Boston University was named Preseason Midfielder of the Year, while teammate Rachel Bloznalis was selected as Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
In addition to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team being announced, the league also revealed its preseason poll, and Bucknell was picked second among the 10 teams on the ballot. Boston University was tabbed preseason favorites, collecting 156 points and 12 first-place votes. The Bison placed second with 152 points and eight first-place tallies, while Navy came in third with 121 points, followed by Colgate (119), Lehigh (102), Loyola (69), Army (66), Lafayette (53), Holy Cross (43) and American (19) to round out the poll.
The Bison posted a program-record 16 wins in 2016, knocking off Lafayette and Boston University in the Patriot League Tournament to capture their third league trophy and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
Bucknell opens its 2017 campaign on Friday, August 18, against Syracuse at Emmitt Field at 7 p.m. The match will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.
Patriot League Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
- Boston University, 156 points (12 first-place votes)
- Bucknell, 152 (8)
- Navy, 121
- Colgate, 119
- Lehigh, 102
- Loyola, 69
- Army, 66
- Lafayette, 53
- Holy Cross, 43
- American, 19
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Kendall Ham, Bucknell (Sr., F)
Patriot League Preseason Midfielder of the Year: Julianna Chen, Boston University (Jr., M)
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Rachel Bloznalis, Boston University (Gr., D)
Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Kendall Ham, Bucknell (Sr., F)
Maddie Mulford, Bucknell (Sr., F)
Abby Sotomayor, Colgate (So., F)
Clare Shea, Army West Point (Sr., M)
Julianna Chen, Boston U. (Jr., M)
Eliza Doll, Colgate (Sr., M)
Adrian Vitello, Lehigh (Sr., M)
Rachel Bloznalis, Boston U. (Gr., D)
Karli Cirovski, Bucknell (Sr., D)
Alyssa Riporti, Lehigh (Sr., D)
Sam Miller, Lehigh (So., GK)