Wolves Selected 7th in Preseason NSIC Soccer Poll

BURNSVILLE, MN (Northernsun.org / HubCityRadio.com) –  The  defending NSIC Regular Season Champions of Minnesota State University, Mankato were picked to win the NSIC in the preseason coaches’ poll. This marks the 11th time since re-joining the NSIC in 2008 that the Mavericks have been picked to win the league.

Minnesota State received eight first place votes and tallied 187 points, ranking them 10 points ahead of Augustana, which tallied 177 points and received four first place votes. The defending NSIC Tournament Champions of Bemidji State came in third with 170 points and two first place votes. Concordia-St. Paul was fourth with 147 points and the final first place vote.  The University of Mary rounded out the top five with 134 points.

As for Northern State, the Wolves were picked in the seven spot for the fall of 2023. Hannah Smith was named the “Player to Watch” for NSU. Smith netted eight goals in her freshman year and an assist in 19 matches played. On defense, goal-keeper Alexus Townsend was the player to watch. She had eight clean sheets in 2022 and a save percentage of .870 last year.

The 2023 NSIC Soccer Regular Season Champion will be determined by a 14-match league schedule, with a win earning a team three points and a tie one point.

The 2023 NSIC Soccer season will see its first non-conference action on Thursday, August 31 with NSIC action beginning on Friday, September 15.

The NSIC Tournament is scheduled for Monday, November 6, Friday, November 10 and Sunday, November 12. The top four seeds shall host for the first round, followed by the semifinal and championship rounds at the campus of the highest remaining seed of the four quarterfinal winners.

“Hannah is the model student-athlete for our program due to her exceptional work rate both in the classroom and on the field. Heading into the 2023 season we will look for Hannah to progress her performance to not only positively impact her actions on the field, but to spread influence to others around her. She has shown the ability to generate scoring chances for herself, so as she grows we are going to look for her to now add in setting up players around her. Defensively, she grew a lot in 2022 and can now look to help set the tone from match to match as she knows how to operate and influence the game from defense.” 

                                                                      – Head Coach Bob Casper on Hannah Smith 

“Alexus has been a very steady and reliable player for the past two seasons at Northern State. She has great training habits, and is a leader from the back. Heading into 2023, we will look for that same consistency from Alexus, while also expecting her to make a few positive adjustments on the defensive side of the game. She has great distribution and can flip the field quickly. Her instincts on crosses are a great asset as well. She was on the field for all 11 shutouts in 2022, which was a milestone achievement for a goalkeeper at Northern State. If she is able to be a part of a team that can come close or match that mark this season, then I would count that as a job done extremely well. She will come back ready to play, and ready to be focused on the process while also making sure she fits into the team system and goals.”

                                                                   – Head Coach Bob Casper on Alexus Townsend