In its inaugural season in the Sun Belt Conference, Appalachian State University women’s soccer has been picked to finished fifth by the league’s coaches, the conference office announced on Monday.
Defending Sun Belt champion South Alabama earned the nod as the preseason favorite. The Jaguars claimed nine of 10 first-place votes with a total of 98 points to lead all teams.
UL Lafayette received the other first-place vote and was picked second with a total of 81 points. Georgia State came in third with 73 points and Texas State earned 67 points to round out the top four.
In its first year in the league, Appalachian State checks in at number five with 59 points. Arkansas State was picked sixth with 54 points and Troy came in at seventh with 46 points.
Longtime Southern Conference rival, Georgia Southern, was picked eighth in the annual poll with 30 points. Rounding out the poll was UALR with 26 points and UL Monroe with 16 points.
Georgia State junior forward Ashley Nagy was selected as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while UL Lafayette’s Grace Howell-Harries earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The top eight teams at the conclusion of the regular season will earn a spot in the 2014 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Championship, hosted by South Alabama, November 5-9. The 2014 season officially kicks off for Appalachian State on Sunday, August 24 at Elon.
SBC Preseason All-Conference Team
*Loren Mitchell (Arkansas State, Junior, Forward)
*Ashley Nagy (Georgia State, Junior, Forward)
**Annika Schmidt (UL Lafayette, Sophomore, Forward)
**Lynsey Curry (Texas State, Junior, Forward)
*Yazmin Montoya (UL Lafayette, Sophomore, Midfielder)
Samhia Simao (Arkansas State, Senior, Midfielder)
Monique Autmon (South Alabama, Sophomore, Midfielder)
*Grace Howell-Harries (UL Lafayette, Senior, Defender)
Nini Rabsatt-Smith (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
Brenna Smith (Texas State, Senior, Defender)
Brie Haynes (Georgia State, Sophomore, Goalkeeper)
* - denotes 2013 First-Team All-Conference | ** - denotes 2013 Second-Team All-Conference
SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Ashley Nagy (Georgia State, Junior, Forward)
SBC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Grace Howell-Harries (UL Lafayette, Senior, Defender)
2014 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. South Alabama (9) - 98pts
2. UL Lafayette (1) - 81pts
3. Georgia State - 73pts
4. Texas State - 67pts
5. Appalachian State - 59pts
6. Arkansas State - 54pts
7. Troy - 46pts
8. Georgia Southern - 30pts
9. UALR - 26pts
10. UL Monroe - 16pts