The Lees-McRae College women's soccer team has been tabbed to repeat as Conference Carolinas champions this season, announced league officials
Friday with the release of the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll.
"Being ranked atop of Conference Carolinas is quite an honor, but one we do not take lightly as it is a conference full of talented teams and great coaches," said head coach Nick Whiting. "We will continue to improve our focus and work rate in order to be ready for the regular season."
Lees-McRae tops the poll with 110 points and six first-place votes, followed by Limestone College with 105 points and two first-place votes. Belmont Abbey College is third with one first-place vote and 103 points, following by Mount Olive College (90) and Pfeiffer with 85 points and two first-place votes.
Queens University of Charlotte is sixth with 73 points and one first-place vote, followed by King College (61), Erskine College (51), North Greenville University (41), Converse College (27), Coker College (26), and Barton College (20).
Lees-McRae put together one of the most successful seasons in program history last fall, setting a school record with an 11-1 mark in league play en route to its first-ever Conference Carolinas regular season championship. The Bobcats went on to post a 13-5-3 overall record and capture the conference tournament title, securing the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Whiting and the Bobcats return 16 letter-winners from last year's squad, including reigning conference freshman of the year Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J), and three-time all-league honoree Mary Dorn (Shallotte, N.C.). The Bobcats will rely on a seasoned veteran corps led by Dorn, fellow senior Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.), and juniors MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) and Kaitlyn Kerrigan (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.), to continue their rise through the ranks on both the regional and national level.
Lees-McRae is slated to open the season on Friday, August 31 when the Bobcats travel to Hickory, N.C. to take on Lander University on the first day of the Lenoir-Rhyne Classic.
2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
Rk. School (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Lees-McRae College (6) 110
2. Limestone College (2) 105
3. Belmont Abbey College (1) 103
4. Mount Olive College 90
5. Pfeiffer University (2) 85
6. Queens University of Charlotte (1) 73
7. King College 61
8. Erskine College 51
9. North Greenville University 41
10. Converse College 27
11. Coker College 26
12. Barton College 20
Photo Courtesy: Mary Dorn, LMC Athletics