The Fort Hays State women's soccer team was tabbed fourth in the MIAA preseason coaches poll released Monday.
The Tiger went 10-6-4 overall and were 7-3-1 in MIAA play in Blake Reynolds' first season as head coach. They reached the MIAA Tournament semifinals before falling 3-0 to eventual national champion Central Missouri.
FHSU returns 12 players who saw time playing time last season. The Tigers have a 12-player freshman class.
Fort Hays, which outscored opponents 23-17 last season, will have to replace last year's leading scorer Eden Stoddard who had eight goals. Junior forward Darby Hirsch is the returning leading scorer for the Tigers with three goals last season. Olympia Katsouridis and Catalina Hernandez are the only other returners who netted goals last season.
Other key returners include Paige Utterback, Taryn Schnell and Shayla Podlena. Junior goalkeeper Megan Kneefel started six games and recorded 40 saves with a 4-2-2 record as a sophomore.
The Tigers will play host to Kansas Wesleyan in their lone exhibition game at 6 p.m. on Friday.
They will open the regular season on Aug. 30 against Upper Iowa in Fayette, Iowa. Their home opener will be Sept. 14 against Emporia State.
Central Missouri was picked to win the conference again, garnering the maximum 11 first-place votes. Missouri Western was tabbed second with one first-place vote, followed by Northeastern State at third. Central Oklahoma rounded out the top-five.
2018 MIAA Women's Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Central Missouri (11) - 121
2. Missouri Western (1) - 108
3. Northeastern State - 98
4. Fort Hays State - 88
5. Central Oklahoma - 85
6. Missouri Southern - 66
7. Washburn - 62
8. Emporia State - 45
9. Lindenwood - 43
10. Northwest Missouri - 40
11. Nebraska Kearney - 23
12. Southwest Baptist - 14