With 20 letterwinners, including eight starters, returning from last year’s NCAA Sweet Sixteen squad, the Arkansas women’s soccer team was tabbed eighth in the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, announced by the league office on Monday.
The Razorbacks were one of seven SEC programs to at least receive votes in last week’s NSCAA preseason top 25 poll, as Arkansas garnered eight votes. Last year, the SEC sent six teams into the NCAA Tournament with all six winning their first round games. Arkansas and Texas A&M were the only two SEC teams to advance past the second round.
Arkansas will be part of SEC history on Thursday night when it hosts Creighton in an exhibition match starting at 7 p.m. Thursday is also the opening night of the highly-anticipated SEC Network, as the Razorbacks’ preseason tune up against Creighton will be shown in full on SEC Network+ (SECNetwork.com & WatchESPN App) with live look-ins during the game on the SEC Network (TV).
In celebration, the Razorbacks will host a SEC Network Launch Party FREE to the public beginning at 4:30 p.m. inside Razorback Field. Razorback Spirit Squads, student-athletes and coaches from all of the sports programs will attend and fans will have the unique opportunity to tailgate inside stadium as the soccer team prepares to kick off the 2014 season.
The first 200 in attendance to the Launch Party will receive free food and a Razorback T-shirt and the opportunity to win other great prizes given away throughout the evening. In addition, several local radio stations will broadcast live from the pregame tailgate party, including a DJ from Power 105.7.
Arkansas’ 20 returners accounted for 102 of the team’s 136 total points in 2013. Of the 12 different players that scored a goal last year, eight return to make up 82 percent (36-of-44) of the goals. Sophomore keepers Cameron Carter and Taylor Erwin accounted for every minute in net last year, helping the defense post a program single-season record eight shutouts.
For more information on Arkansas soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.
SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll (First Place Votes)
1. Florida (8) – 164 points
2. Texas A&M (6) – 162 points
3. South Carolina – 136 points
4. Kentucky – 129 points
5. Tennessee – 125 points
6. LSU – 99 points
7. Georgia – 84 points
8. Arkansas – 77 points
9. Ole Miss – 71 points
9. Missouri – 71 points
11. Auburn – 66 points
12. Alabama – 51 points
13. Vanderbilt – 25 points
14. Mississippi State – 14 points