Gamecock Women's Soccer Ranked No. 24 In Coaches Preseason Poll
Aug. 7, 2012
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By Miquel Jacobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina head women's soccer coach Shelley Smith's squad will open the 2012 season as the nation's No. 24 team, according to the preseason coaches poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Gamecocks are one of four SEC teams ranked in the top 25, and it marks the third consecutive season that Smith's team will open the year with a national ranking.
Stanford tops the poll as the defending champions, followed by runner-up Duke, Wake Forest, Florida State and Oklahoma State. Four of South Carolina's opponents for the upcoming season also received recognition. The Gamecocks will travel to No. 14 Texas A&M and No. 25 Auburn on consecutive Friday's in September, and the team will host No. 21 Florida in the regular season finale. In addition, the Gamecocks will face No. 2 Duke in an exhibition at Stone Stadium on Thursday, August 9.
Coach Smith's team will also face four teams that are receiving votes in the preseason poll - UW-Milwaukee (August 17), Tennessee (October 5), LSU (October 12) and Kentucky (October 19), making Friday night's tough in the conference for South Carolina with every Friday night SEC opponent currently ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA poll.
The Gamecocks won the 2011 SEC regular season and eastern division titles with a 9-2-0 record and moved to the NCAA Second Round for the third consecutive year - one of only two SEC programs to do so in that span. With a 16-7-0 record, Smith's squad won its second piece of conference hardware in the past three years en route to her being named the NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year. Carolina lost nine letterwinners from last year's team and will welcome nine newcomers in 2012. The Gamecocks return six starters from last year's squad including Freshman All-American, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year Sabrina D'Angelo.
South Carolina takes on No. 2 Duke this Thursday in an exhibition at Stone Stadium. Admission is free with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can meet the 2012 team and get signed posters at the Fan Appreciation Day scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 12 at 12:30 p.m. Season Tickets for the 2012 season are currently on sale. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $10 for youth. They can be purchased at GamecocksOnline.com or by calling (800) 4SC-FANS.
2012 NSCAA Coaches Preseason Poll