CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -
Entering its fifth season as a member of the Patriot League, the Boston University women's soccer team earned its fifth-straight selection as the preseason favorite, as announced by the league Wednesday. Additionally, Rachel Bloznalis
and Julianna Chen
were selected for a pair of major preseason awards as Bloznalis earned the Preseason Defender of the Year title, while Chen garnered Preseason Midfielder of the Year honors.
BU, who fell 2-1 in overtime to Bucknell in last season's Patriot League championship game, edged the Bison for the top spot in the poll by four points. The Terriers earned a total of 12 first-place votes and collected 156 points overall. Navy earned the third spot (121), and Colgate (119), Lehigh (102), Loyola (69), Army (66), Lafayette (53), Holy Cross (43) and American (19) rounded out the poll.
Bloznalis, the 2016 the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, collected her second straight Preseason Defender of the Year honors. Chen, a two-time All-Patriot League honoree, earned her first preseason accolade after earning her first nod to the All-Patriot League First Team last year.
Voting for both the preseason poll and All-Patriot League Team was conducted by the women's soccer head coaches and sports information directors who were not permitted to vote for their own team or student-athletes.
The Terriers, who captured the Patriot League crown in each of its first three seasons in the league, will kick of their 2017 season Friday night at Louisville before heading to Cincinnati for a Sunday afternoon tilt.
Patriot League Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Boston University, 156 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Bucknell, 152 (8)
3. Navy, 121
4. Colgate, 119
5. Lehigh, 102
6. Loyola, 69
7. Army, 66
8. Lafayette, 53
9. Holy Cross, 43
10. 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)