The Drover women promise to be conference contenders in 2010, coming in third in the women’s preseason poll, which was released Wednesday.

“I’m honored for our team that other folks think we may have a solid side, but preseason polls won’t win games,” Drover Head Coach Jimmy Hampton said. “We are excited about beginning preseason and focusing on working hard and competing hard, in order to represent USAO in the best manner we can.”

The team went 13-6 (7-4 in the conference) in 2009. The women bring back the same talent from last year, but with a bit more maturity and experience.

The Drovers took one first-place vote in the poll. John Brown University tops the list, with Oklahoma City University coming in second.

Both Drover teams are expected to be solid in 2010. As defending conference champions, the Drover men are picked to win the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s soccer title again this year.

The Drovers top the SAC Preseason Poll, which was released Wednesday. The team went 17-2-1 overall and 8-0-1 in the conference in 2009, taking both the conference regular season and tournament titles.

USAO took eight of 11 first-places votes in the poll, which is determined through coach’s rankings.

Oklahoma City University took the remaining three first-place votes and is ranked second in the poll. Southern Nazarene University follows in third.

The NAIA Preseason Poll will be released next week.

The Drovers begin practice on Tuesday and start scrimmages the following week. The women will take on Northern Junior College at 4 p.m. Aug. 24 at home in their first scrimmage game. The men kick off regular season play at home at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 against Hillsdale College.

The full poll can be found here.

Published: Aug. 11, 2010