OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Just six games into its inaugural season, the Stevenson women's ice hockey team has been mentioned among the nation's elite as the Mustangs received one vote in Monday's USCHO.com Division III Women's Poll, effectively ranking the team at No. 16 with Concordia (Minn.) and St. Catherine.
Stevenson (3-3) is the fastest, first-year independent program to be ranked or receive votes in the 15-year history of the USCHO.com Division III Women's Poll. Adrian is the second-fastest and only other first-year, independent program to be ranked or receiving votes as the Bulldogs also received one vote on Nov. 12, 2007 after starting the season 6-1.
In addition, the Mustangs are the third-fastest first-year program to be ranked or receive votes. Elmira and Plattsburgh are tied for the fastest as Elmira was ranked at No. 10 on Nov. 5, 2001 while Plattsburgh was receiving votes. Both started the season 2-0.
Head coach Shera Vis came to Stevenson from Elmira where she spent two seasons as an assistant coach from 2009-11.
Vis is the fastest rookie head coach to lead a team to an appearance in the USCHO poll as an independent. Chandy Kaip is the second-fastest, debuting in seven games with Adrian in 2007.
Led by head coach Jeff Vizenor, St. Mary's (Minn.) was the first, first-year program to be ranked or receive votes in the poll when the Cardinals received three votes on Jan. 11, 1999, placing the team at No. 12. Vizenor went on to spend eight seasons at Division I Minnesota State where he was Vis' head coach.
Stevenson is currently 3-3 this season with two losses to Divsion I Sacred Heart. The Mustangs are ranked 20th out of 54 Division III women's teams in scoring offense, averaging 2.67 goals per game.
Meanwhile, freshman McKenzie Taggart (Centennial, Colo./Colorado Select) is ranked 13th in the nation in points per game at 1.40, totaling seven points in five games, and fifth in assists per game at 1.00. She is also fourth in Division III among all first-year players in points per game.