The Lees-McRae womens soccer team was tabbed third in the Conference Carolinas coaches preseason poll, the league office announced Monday morning.
The Bobcats are shooting for their fourth consecutive regular season title after cruising to the title with an 8-1-0 conference mark last season.
LMC return 17 players, including nine starters. Conference Carolinas All-Conference First-Team representatives Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) and Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) return to coach Nick Whitings squad as well as senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Briggs.
Briggs was a dominant force, not only in the conference, but nationally when she posted a 0.63 goals against average while leading the Bobcats to a 10-match unbeaten streak and 837:41 minutes of shutout soccer.
Whitings team will be tested early and often when they hit the road for their first five contests before returning home for the next six.
Belmont Abbey was selected as the preseason favorite after advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since the field expanded to 48 teams.
Pfeiffer, the reigning Conference Carolinas Tournament Champion, was selected to finish second.
The poll was rounded out with Barton finishing fourth, followed by: Limestone, King, Converse, Mount Olive, North Greenville and Erskine respectively.
Conference Carolinas Womens Soccer Preseason Poll
(Number of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
Belmont Abbey 88 (7)
Pfeiffer 76 (1)
Lees-McRae 75 (1)
Barton 68 (1)
Mount Olive 37
North Greenville 31