CHICKASHA – Sooner Athletic Conference coaches picked the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma women’s soccer team to take second in the conference this season, according to the preseason coaches’ poll released this week.
“The polls reflect our season from last year a bit, but we are excited about the new, young players and how they mix with our veterans,” head coach Jimmy Hampton said. “We hope to develop into a talented side and compete well within our conference and region.”
After a rough start in 2012, the Drovers ended up finishing second in the SAC with a conference record of 5-2-1 to go with an overall record of 11-7-1. They competed in 2012’s SAC Semifinals before falling to OBU.
The Drovers return six starters from last season and have several newcomers that should prove to help elevate the team, Hampton said. Additionally, the team is on the young side having graduated six since last season.
“We are looking forward to a new year with a lot of new faces,” Hampton said.
While Oklahoma City took the top spot in the poll with the maximum number of points of 100, USAO came in with 83 points, followed by Oklahoma Baptist with 82. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team.
The NAIA is expected to release their Preseason Top 25 poll on Aug. 20.
Starting this season, the SAC begins play with four new teams — Texas Wesleyan, Northwood, Southwestern Assemblies of God and Southwestern Christian — bringing to conference’s total to 11.
Hampton and the Drovers began preseason practice on Wednesday.
Fans will get an opportunity to see the Drover women in action at home at 2 p.m. Aug. 23 when the Drovers take on Oklahoma Wesleyan in an exhibition match.
The Drovers officially kick off the season at Our Lady of the Lake on Aug. 30. They play Houston-Victoria at OLLU before returning to Chickasha for their home opener against University of Texas – Brownsville at 1 p.m. Sept. 5.
Full schedule of USAO’s games