The University at Buffalo is favored to win the Mid-American Conference East Division women's basketball championship according to the preseason poll of the conference head coaches. The Bulls earned 69 points and 10 of the 12 first-place votes in the polling to become preseason favorites for the first time since they joined the MAC. UB returns four of five starters from the team that went 22-11 last season.
Also, senior point guard Stephanie Reid of Melbourne, Australia, was named to the preseason All-MAC East team for the second straight season. She is coming off a career year when she set a UB record for assists in a season (233) and averaging 11.5 points, 7.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals as she helped the Bulls advance to the MAC tournament semifinals for the second straight season.
The predicted order of finish in the MAC East after UB is: Kent State 52 points, Ohio 47, Miami 40, Bowling Green 23, Akron 21. In the MAC West is was Central Michigan 70, Toledo 60, Ball State 46, Western Michigan 32, Northern Illinois 29, Eastern Michigan.
Central Michigan received 10 of 12 votes to win the regular season championship. Ball State and UB received one vote each. Central also is the favorite to win the MAC Tournament with nine votes. Ball State, UB and Western Michigan received one vote each.
Besides Reid: Preseason All-MAC East team is: Carlo Santoro, Bowling Green; Jordan Korinek, Kent State; Lauren Dickerson, Miami; and Taylor Agler, Ohio.
The Preseason All-MAC West team: Moriah Monaco, Ball State; Presley Hudson, Central Michigan; Tinara Moore, Central Michigan; Mikaela Boyd, Toledo; and Breanna Mobley, Western Michigan.
Daemen was picked in a tie for second place in the East Coast Conference preseason poll of the league's 10 head coaches.
Coach Mike MacDonald's team and the University of Bridgeport each had 83 points in the polling. Two-time defending champion St. Thomas Aquinas was a unanimous pick to finish first, gaining all 10 first-place votes for 100 points.
The Wildcats went 19-9 overall and 12-6 in ECC play last season.
In the ECC women's basketball poll, Daemen was picked to finish eighth. Daemen earned 42 points. St. Thomas Aquinas topped the poll with 88 points, including five first-place votes.
MEN'S SOCCER: Canisius clinched one of the six berths in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's soccer tournament and moved a step closer to hosting a first-round game with a 4-2 victory over Marist in Poughkeepsie on Wednesday.
The Golden Griffins scored four unanswered goals in the second half after a scoreless first half. Eric Strauchen, a senior from Webster, got it started with his first goal of the season in the 61st minute. Strauchen scored again in the 68th minute. Filippo Tamburini, a freshman from Rimini, Italy, scored the next two Canisius goals. He also assisted on both of Strauchen's goals. Strauchen had the assist on Tamburini's first goal.
Canisius (11-3-2, 5-1-2 MAAC) has 17 points in the conference standings and can finish no worse than sixth place with two home games remaining. The third- and fourth-place MAAC teams will host first round playoff games on Nov. 5. The first and second place teams will have first-round byes in the tournament, then host semifinal games.
Elsewhere in the MAAC, Niagara (2-12-2, 1-6-1 MAAC) lost, 1-0, to second-place Manhattan (9-7, 6-3 MAAC) at Gaelic Park in Riverdale on a first-half goal by Lucas Da Silva of the Jaspers.
WOMEN'S SOCCER: UB (7-8-2, 5-4-1) will need a win today at Akron and a loss or tie by Toledo to earn the No. 4 seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament and host a quarterfinal game at 1 p.m. on Sunday at UB Stadium. Akron is 2-13-23, 1-7-2 in the MAC.