SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNC Greensboro has been tabbed the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference’s women’s soccer regular season championship. The Spartans received seven first-place votes in balloting conducted by the league’s head coaches, who also selected a preseason all-conference team. UNC Greensboro finished the 2008 regular season with a record of 10-0-1 in league play and returns three first-team all-conference selections from last year.
Western Carolina, which finished second in the regular season in 2008 and won the conference tournament, picked up three first-place votes and earned 107 points. Samford was tabbed third while Furman edged Davidson by one point to claim fourth place.
College of Charleston earned the final first-place vote and was slotted sixth with 77 points. Elon was picked seventh, while Appalachian State was tabbed eighth. Wofford and Georgia Southern rounded out the top ten while Chattanooga and The Citadel completed the preseason poll.
UNC Greensboro and Western Carolina each played three players on the preseason all-conference team. Forward Kristin Player, midfielder Nicole Danford and defender Lauren Lopez garnered preseason honors for the Spartans, while midfielder Shanna Schmoker, defender Jenny Matteson and 2008 Southern Conference Tournament MVP goalkeeper Caitlin Williams represented the Catamounts.
Furman placed forward Martha Hall and midfielder Sara El-Shami on the preseason all-conference team. Forwards Kyri Bye-Nagel (Davidson) and Amber Cress (Samford) garnered preseason all-conference honors, along with defender Brittany Schneider (College of Charleston).
The 2009 season begins Friday, August 21 when the Western Carolina Catamounts host Gardner-Webb at 7:00 p.m. The 2009 Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship will take place November 6 & 8.
2009 Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. UNC Greensboro (7) 114
2. Western Carolina (3) 107
3. Samford (1) 101
4. Furman 87
5. Davidson 86
6. College of Charleston (1) 77
7. Elon 60
8. Appalachian State 47
9. Wofford 40
10. Georgia Southern 37
11. Chattanooga 23
12. The Citadel 13
() Denotes first-place votes
2009 Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
F Kyri Bye-Nagel, Davidson
F Martha Hall, Furman
F Kristin Player, UNC Greensboro
F Amber Cress, Samford
MF Sara El-Shami, Furman
MF Nicole Danford, UNC Greensboro
MF Shanna Schmoker, Western Carolina
D Brittany Schneider, College of Charleston
D Lauren Lopez, UNC Greensboro
D Jenny Matteson, Western Carolina
GK Caitlin Williams, Western Carolina