College notebook: Media expects more from Mavericks than CCHA coaches

Sep. 18—The Free Press

The Minnesota State men's hockey team has been selected to finish sixth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association preseason coaches' poll and fourth in the media poll, which were both released Monday.

In the coaches' poll, Michigan Tech was ranked first with four first-place votes. Northern Michigan received three first-place votes and was placed second, followed by Bowling Green, Bemidji State and St. Thomas, which received one first-place vote.

Austen Swankler of Bowling Green and Blake Pietila of Michigan Tech were named preseason co-players of the year, while Eric Pohlkamp of Bemidji State was named the top rookie.

The preseason All-CCHA team was Andre Ghantous of Northern Michigan, Kyle Kukkonen of Michigan Tech, Swankler, Ben Wozney of Bowling Green, Josh Zinger of Northern Michigan and Pietila.

Michigan Tech was also the first choice in the media poll, getting 11 first-place votes. Northern Michigan was second, ahead of Bowling Green and Minnesota State.

The media chose Swankler as the preseason player of the year and Pohlkamp as rookie of the year.

Ghantous, Kukkonen, Swankler, Kyle Looft of Bemidji State, Zinger, Jed Pietila of Michigan Tech and Blake Pietila were named to the preseason all-conference team.

Last season, Minnesota State finished 25-13-1, including 16-9-1 in CCHA games, and won the conference regular-season and tournament championship.

The Mavericks open the season with a two-game home series against St. Cloud State on Oct. 13-14.

Soccer award

Minnesota State senior Mackenzie Rath was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference goalkeeper of the week after posting a pair of shutouts last weekend. It is the fifth time in her career that Rath has been awarded the conference player of the week honor.

Rath had two shutouts last week, bringing her career total to 29, which ranks third in team history. She has a .968 save percentage, ranking sixth best in Division II.

Rath made the 200th save of her career on Sunday, which is fifth-best at Minnesota State.

The Mavericks (4-1-1, 2-0-0 in Northern Sun) play Mary on Friday at Bismarck, North Dakota.

Former Scarlet honored

Northern State's Drew Smook, a sophomore kicker from Mankato West, has been named the Northern Sun special teams player of the week for football.

Smook went 2 for 2 on field goals, with kicks of 43 and 38 yards, and 5 of 5 on PATs in Northern State's 41-10 victory over Mary on Saturday.

The 43-yarder was a career-long for Smook.

UMAC's best

Bethany Lutheran senior goalkeeper Brooke Wolanin has been honored by the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference as the defensive player of the week for women's soccer.

Wolanin made eight saves, including a few key late stops, in Wednesday's 4-3 win over Northwestern.

Wolanin is 3-1-1 this season with a 2.20 goals-against average and .725 save percentage.