FRISCO, Texas — The Southland Conference announced on Tuesday its preseason soccer polls and all-conference teams. The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks had five players named to the preseason teams, and SFA is projected to finish among the league's top three in both polls.
Seniors Kim Kimmel and Kelli Barnes, along with sophomore Kylie Louw, were automatic selections to the first-team all-conference squad based on their postseason honors from 2009. Junior Jordan King and sophomore Laura Sadler were each voted in as second-team honorees.
Louw is coming off a stellar rookie campaign that ended with a First-Team All-Southland Conference honor, as well as the league's Freshman of the Year tag. The midfielder led SFA in scoring with 21 points after registering six goals and a team-high nine assists.
Kimmel and Barnes were each voted to the second team last season. Kimmel, a forward, finished second on the team with seven goals, and her four assists were second only to Louw. She led the squad with three game-winners. SFA's defensive leader, Barnes started all 20 games and led the team in minutes played. She has started 38 consecutive contests dating to the 2008 season.
King started all 20 games as a sophomore last season on the way to earning the Southland's Newcomer of the Year award. The defender ranked second only to Barnes in minutes played, helping the Ladyjacks record six shutouts on the year. Sadler turned in an impressive freshman campaign. She scored six goals to tie with Louw for third on the team and tallied two assists for a total of 14 points.
The five preseason all-conference selections ties SFA with Texas State for the second-most in the league. The only squad to put more players on the preseason list is Southeastern Louisiana with six. Those three squads are projected to finish among the league leaders in both preseason polls.
In polling of league sports information directors, SFA is picked second with 72 total points and three first-place votes. League head coaches picked the Ladyjacks to finish third. SFA garnered just 59 points in the coaches' poll but did pick up a first-place vote. Texas State sits atop both preseason polls with seven first-place votes from the coaches and six from the sports information directors. Southeastern Louisiana earned two first-place nods in the coaches' poll, where it finished second, and grabbed one first-place vote in the SID poll, where it finished third.
The Ladyjacks open the 2010 season on Aug. 20 with a home game against Louisiana Tech. The contest is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start from the SFA Soccer Complex.