Saint Leo, Fla. (August 20, 2008) - The Saint Leo University women’s soccer team cracked the top-25 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason poll it was announced last week. This marks the second consecutive year the Lions have made it into the preseason poll.
The poll placed the deserving Lions’ squad at the No. 20 spot, as one of just two Sunshine State Conference representatives. The top spot went to defending National Champions University of Tampa who went 20-2-2 last year. The Lions split with the Spartans last season as Saint Leo handed UT one of their two losses with a 1-0 triumph in Tampa last October. The Spartans got a measure of revenge as they claimed the SSC Tournament Championship downing Saint Leo in heartbreaking fashion, 1-0 in overtime.
The upstart Lions hit the road early and often against tough competition. The second game of the season has the Lions traveling to Pensacola, Fla. to take on the University of West Florida, who also received votes in the latest poll, on September 5. The Lions won their lone match with West Florida last season 2-1 and look to continue that success. The Lions seek revenge on No. 16 Montevallo when they play on September 14. Saint Leo split two matches with Montevallo last season winning the first contest 2-1 and dropping the second by the same score in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a loss which ended SLU’s season.
Ged O’Connor’s team will once again face a very difficult schedule in 2008. Aside from West Florida and Montevallo, Saint Leo will take on Tampa at home on September 23 and will host Nova Southeastern on October 29 for Senior Day. The Lions also play a difficult conference road schedule as they face Rollins, Florida Tech, Florida Southern and Lynn University away from the friendly confines.