BOCA RATON, Fla. – With just 11 days remaining before Opening Night, the Florida Atlantic University women’s soccer team was voted fourth in the Preseason Conference USA Poll, as announced by the league on Monday afternoon.
Three-time defending regular season champion North Texas received eight of a possible 14 first-place votes by the league coaches to rank first on Monday. Charlotte, who won the 2016 C-USA Tournament over FAU in the finals last year, got four of the remaining five top marks, and is tied for second with Rice, who received one.
FAU, 12-8-2 a year ago and fresh off that title match appearance, is next, ahead of WKU, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech and UTEP. The Owls return 22 letterwinners, including seven starters, from a squad that went 6-3-1 in C-USA play in 2016, and will add eight newcomers into the fold.
“We are excited to start the 2017 women’s soccer campaign and feel we have a very talented group to begin the fall journey,” said Head Coach Patrick Baker. “The opportunity to be recognized by the C-USA coaches in the preseason poll is rewarding, but there are a lot of high-level games to be played between now and the end of October. I’m sure based on last year’s finish, playing in the C-USA championship game and the strength of our talented recruiting class, many people expect us to have a successful fall.”
The Owls host perennial power Florida at FAU Stadium on Friday, Aug. 18. The Gators were recently voted No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches National Preseason Rankings. First kick will be at 7 p.m. and tickets are available by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS or visiting http://www.fausports.com/tickets/w-soccer-tickets.html.
2017 C-USA Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
1. North Texas (8)
T2. Charlotte (5)
T2. Rice (1)
4. Florida Atlantic
6. Old Dominion
7. Louisiana Tech
11. Middle Tennessee
13. Southern Miss