The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association released its 2017-18 Women's Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday and Lake Forest College was in second place, just two points behind the leader.
Voting is done by the NCHA head coaches. Each coach votes for the other nine teams in the league in order of predicted finish. Points are assigned in reverse order of voting (nine points for first, eight for second, etc.). Coaches may not vote for their own teams.
The Foresters finished with 76 points in the poll, just two fewer than defending league champion Adrian College. The Bulldogs received six first-place votes and Lake Forest the other four.
Fourteen of 19 players are back from last year's Forester team that set a program with 21 victories against just six losses and a tie. Lake Forest posted a 14-3-1 record in conference play and advanced to the NCHA Slaats Cup Final for the third time in the last four seasons. Among the returning players are two-time West All-American defenseman Kayla Griffith and fellow 2016-17 All-NCHA forwards Amy Budde and Olivia Spellmire, defenseman Julia Unterseher, and goaltender Jacque Rogers. Unterseher and Rogers were also named to the last year's NCHA All-Freshman Team along with forwards Lexi Morgan and Sydney Simone.
Thirteenth-year head coach Carisa Wahlig's Foresters will officially open the 2017-18 season against visiting University of St. Thomas on Saturday, October 28. The team will begin its 18-game league schedule the following weekend with a series at Concordia University Wisconsin. The regular season will conclude on February 17 and the top six teams in the conference will qualify for the Slaats Cup Playoffs.
Lake Forest has claimed two regular season championships and a pair of NCHA Slaats Cup titles in the last eight years and has finished among the top four in the league seven times in that span.
|PLACE||TEAM (First Place Votes)||POINTS|
|1||Adrian College (6)||78|
|2||Lake Forest College (4)||76|
|3||College of St. Scholastica||65|
|4||Concordia University Wisconsin||51|
|6||St. Norbert College||46|