Bulldogs Predicted to Take Third Place in SoCon Coaches Poll, Garcia Selected to Preseason All-Conference Team
Spartanburg, S.C. – The Citadel Women's Soccer team was selected to place third, recording 89 votes in the Southern Conference preseason coaches poll released on Tuesday. This will mark the Bulldogs highest preseason ranking in program history and their first player selected to the conference's preseason All-SoCon team.
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team or players in the balloting.
The Bulldogs finished behind Samford who collected 111 votes and UNC Greensboro who gathered 112 votes. Samford ended The Citadel's 2010 season in a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at the SoCon Tournament semi-finals in Cullowhee, N.C. The Spartans will compete for their seventh consecutive league title.
Finishing below The Citadel was cross-town rival College of Charleston with 86 votes, Elon with 82 votes, Furman (77), Davidson (69), Western Carolina (46), Appalachian State (42), Wofford (32), Georgia Southern (26) and Chattanooga (20).
The Bulldogs are led by two-time (2009 & 2010) SoCon Coach of the Year, Bob Winch, who will return 15 players to the field, including pre-season all-conference and 2010 Freshman and SoCon Player of the Year selection, Mariana Garcia. Eight seniors, seven sophomores and five freshmen will make up the 20-person roster that boasts no juniors.
The Citadel finished the 2010 campaign with a 12-8-1 (7-4) record to land them in fourth place. The season included a slew of team records including most wins and most goals scored as well as program-first wins against Maine and Charleston Southern, and SoCon firsts against Appalachian State, Davidson, Elon, Furman, Western Carolina and Wofford.
"As a program we are seeking consistency. We will work hard daily to become a top team in the Southern Conference year in and year out," added Winch.
Garcia, a sophomore forward from Bogota, Columbia, finished last season with 10 goals, one assist and 21 points on 53 shots. She recorded the team's game-winning goal on five occasions including a two-goal performance against Georgia Southern on Oct. 14 to lead the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory.
The Citadel soccer team will look to host another quarterfinal match this season which will be held on Oct. 30. The Southern Conference Final Four will be held at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 4 and 6. The Bulldogs will open up the 2011 season on Aug. 22 in Clemson, S.C., before heading back to Charleston to take on Winthrop in the home opener on Aug. 25. Come support your Bulldogs, admission is free!
For more information on Bulldog Athletics, find us on twitter @CitadelSports, Facebook, or visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.citadelsports.com.
2011 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. UNCG (7) 112
2. Samford (5) 111
3. The Citadel 89
4. College of Charleston 86
5. Elon 82
6. Furman 77
7. Davidson 69
8. Western Carolina 46
9. Appalachian State 42
10. Wofford 32
11. Georgia Southern 26
12. Chattanooga 20
() denotes first-place votes
2011 Women's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
F Mariana Garcia, The Citadel
F Martha Hall, Furman
F Donna-Kay Henry, Chattanooga
MF Sarah Schaidle, College of Charleston
MF Rachel Shelnutt, Furman
MF Jaimey Etten, UNCG
MF Michelle Moll, Samford
D Hannah Gmerek, College of Charleston
D Andrea Keller, Elon
D Cat Barnekow, UNCG
GK Kelsey Kearney, UNCG