Belmont Abbey Picked as Favorite in Women's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll

Thomasville, NC> The Belmont Abbey College women's soccer team has been picked to lead Conference Carolinas for the third-straight year. The Abbey has won the conference title two out of the last three seasons, and returns 13 players from last year's team that allowed just one goal en route to a perfect 11-0-0 mark in Conference play. The Abbey ended up shutting out every conference opponent last year after defeating Limestone 2-0 in the conference semifinals. Limestone scored the only goal the Abbey allowed in conference play with 11 seconds remaining in a 4-1 win. The Abbey set conference records for shutouts (10) and fewest goals allowed (one). The Crusaders ended up with 16 shutouts and an 18-4-1 overall record.

Belmont Abbey will return six of their eight all-conference selections, including defenders Danielle Kubinski, Amanda Maddock and Kristin Voirin and forwards Celene Molera and Lindsay Palm and goalkeeper Anna Wells.

The Pfeiffer University women's soccer team comes in at number two in this year's preseason poll as voted on by league head coaches after finishing second in the league last year with a 8-2-1 league record and 10-7-4 overall mark. With great expectation, head coach Sarah Denton is very hopeful about this upcoming season. Her squad of 24 players came into preseason focused and ready to meet their personal and team goals.

Pfeiffer's six seniors of Kirsten Bartsch, Madison Kerth, Julia Barker, Shannon Davis, Angela Reale, and Katie Franca are ready and hope to lead this team to its best season ever. On Monday, September 1st, Pfeiffer opens their season at home in a regional match-up against UNC Pembroke.

The Queens University of Charlotte women's soccer team is coming off what could arguably be the best season in program history winning the conference tournament title and advancing to its first ever NCAA Tournament, and according to head coach Katie Talbert has no plans of slowing down, "The players have the ability to win back-to-back tournament championships as well as compete in the region and national spotlight."

The Royals will rely on senior leadership in forward Kari Byzewski, midfielders Erin Saleeby, and defenders Mary-Ashley Davino and Whitney Henson to guide the underclassmen, including 11 freshmen, to a season of success. In total, the Royals have 13 players returning including leading-scorer Byzewski and both goalkeepers, Kristen Kornacki and Michelle Landry.

Rounding out the poll 4-12 was: Mount Olive, Barton, Limestone, Erskine, St. Andrews, Anderson, Lees-McRae, Coker, and Converse respectively.

Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Preseason Poll (# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)

1. Belmont Abbey (5) 114
2. Pfeiffer (4) 111
3. Queens (2) 92
4. Mount Olive 85
5. Barton 80
6. Limestone (1) 76
7. Erskine 53
8. St. Andrews 52
9. Anderson 50
10. Lees-McRae 39
11. Coker 25
12. Converse 15