Coming off of its best season since 2014, the Valpo soccer program has been chosen to finish in fourth place in the Missouri Valley Conference this fall in preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. In addition, three returnees represent the Beacons on the preseason All-MVC squads, including a pair of First Team honorees.
Valpo racked up 51 points in the polling — including one first-place vote — to come in fourth position. Loyola claimed the rest of the first-place votes to top the poll, while Illinois State and Indiana State were picked just in front of the Beacons. Valpo was 13 points clear of Missouri State and UNI, who tied for fifth place.
Valpo also placed three players on the preseason All-MVC teams, including First Team selections Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) and Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford). Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) earned a spot on the Honorable Mention preseason squad as well.
Coryell is the reigning MVC Goalkeeper of the Year, coming off a freshman campaign where she posted a 0.52 GAA and a .881 save percentage with seven clean sheets in her 14 starts in goal. Dugan was a First Team All-MVC and Third Team All-Region choice last season for her work on the attack for Valpo, while James was an Honorable Mention All-MVC selection and earned a spot alongside Coryell on the conference’s All-Freshman Team with a team-best eight points on the season.
Valpo enters the fall 2021 campaign with stellar momentum coming out of the spring season, having posted its best regular-season finish since joining the MVC (third place) and advancing to the title match of the MVC Tournament for the first time. Valpo posted a 5-4-5 overall record, a seven-game improvement from its record the previous season — the third-best year-over-year improvement in the nation. The Beacons return 12 letterwinners from that squad, including eight starters.