Birmingham, Ala. – Texas A&M was predicted to win to the 2013 Southeastern Conference women’s soccer title in voting by the league’s 14 head coaches.
The Aggies earned eight first-place votes, narrowly topping Florida’s six votes. Four Aggies return for the 2013 season after earning All-SEC honors last year, including three first team all-conference selections – goalkeeper Jordan Day, forward Annie Kunz and defender/midfielder Meghan Streight.
Texas A&M was picked first in the Western Division with 91 total points (13 first-place votes), ahead of LSU’s 67 points (one first-place vote). The defending Western Division champions, A&M advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA tournament for the 11th-time in school history while posting a 19-5-1 record. LSU returns its top two goal scorers from a year ago as midfielder Alex Arlitt and winger Fernanda Pina each netted four goals to guide the offensive attack during the 2012 season.
Florida was selected tops in the Eastern Division by garnering 89 total points (11 first-place votes). Kentucky and Tennessee (three first place votes) tied for second in the East with 71 points each. Kentucky returns nine of 11 starters from the 2012 team that posted a 14-7-1 over record and captured the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Tennessee heads into its second season under head coach Brian Pensky with 17 returning players from a 2012 team that went 14-5-3 and took third in the SEC with a 9-3-1 league mark.
Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division, though each coach was not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
The 21st season of women’s soccer in the SEC season begins August 23, with conference play set to begin September 20. The 2013 SEC Tournament is Nov. 4-10 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala.
Preseason Coaches’ Poll (First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
SEC Champion: Texas A&M (8), Florida (6)
Florida (11) 89
Tennessee (3) 71
South Carolina 42
Texas A&M (13) 91
LSU (1) 67
Ole Miss 52
Mississippi State 21