WINTER PARK, Fla. – Collecting an SSC-high nine first-place votes, the Saint Leo women's soccer team was selected to finish second in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll, it was announced Wednesday.
The Lions, who enter the year ranked No.23 in the nation in the latest NSCAA Top-25 poll, compiled 163 points, finishing three total points behind Rollins for the top spot.
Saint Leo welcomes 13 returning players, including five starters, from the squad that won the program's first-ever outright SSC title last season. The Lions will, nevertheless, also look to fill the void left by five departed All-SSC players, including the SSC Player of the Year, Cassie Barbaresi.
Leading the way for Saint Leo will be sophomore forward Ari Foreman, who was named the SSC Freshman of the Year after posting four goals and three assists in her debut season.
Tampa took the third spot with 154 points and four first-place nods. Nipping on the Spartans' heels was Florida Tech with 147 points and two first-place votes.
Lynn gathered 110 points to settle into the No. 5 slot in the poll. Nova Southeastern was sixth with 82 points.
Florida Southern (65), Barry (61), and Eckerd (24) rounded out the poll.
The top four teams were separated by just 19 points, and each of those squads received first-place votes.
The poll was conducted among the league's head women's soccer coaches and sports information directors.
2012 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON WOMEN'S SOCCER POLL
Rank – Team, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 – Rollins, 166 (3)
2 – Saint Leo, 163 (9)
3 – Tampa, 154 (4)
4 – Florida Tech, 147 (2)
5 – Lynn, 110
6 – Nova Southeastern, 82
7 – Florida Southern, 65
8 – Barry, 61
9 – Eckerd, 24