Florida Tech Women’s Soccer Picked Fourth in Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll

By  //  August 26, 2015

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ABOVE VIDEO: 2015 Sunshine State Conference Women’s Soccer Season Outlook. (Sunshine State Conference Video)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE FLORIDA – Florida Tech women’s soccer has been picked fourth in the 2015 Sunshine State Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll, announced by the SSC office on Monday.

The Panthers received 37 total votes in the poll, 15 points behind third place Saint Leo (52). Two-time defending SSC regular season champ Barry was picked to finish first with four first place and 59 total votes.

Also receiving four first place votes and picked to finish second in the league is Rollins, the 2014 national runner-up who grabbed 58 total votes. Saint Leo received the only other first place vote in the poll.

“The preseason poll is a very good representation of how the teams are going to look this year,” said head coach Dustin Smith. “I think that Rollins coming off a national championship game and Barry being the two-time defending regular season champions, they’re going to be very difficult to beat. Saint Leo has been in the mix and has made late tournament runs the past couple years as well.

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“I think those three teams (Barry, Rollins, Saint Leo) are formidable opponents as well as the teams in the poll below us. It says a lot about how strong and deep our conference is, and I’m excited to get the season underway and see if we can finish higher than the preseason poll predicts us.”

Last season the Panthers were playing without three key pieces: Aubri Williamson, Jazelle Russack-Cradeur and Taylor Eller. Smith is looking forward to their return to the Florida Tech lineup.

Dustin Smith

Dustin Smith

“With their return, we have greater depth this year,” stated Smith. “Just like anything else, if we can stay healthy we should be more competitive this year. I believe the return of those girls will definitely help us climb up the polls.”

FIT opens the season with a match against St. Mary’s (Texas) on Sept. 3 in San Antonio, Texas. Following the contest with the Rattlers, the Panthers head to Austin, Texas to face the No. 24 ranked team in the 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason Poll, St. Edward’s (Texas). The Hilltoppers were a Sweet 16 team a year ago.

Below is the full 2015 SSC Preseason Coaches Poll. You can also find a link to the 2015 SSC Women’s Soccer Season Outlook which gives fans an inside look at the upcoming conference season from the perspective of the league’s women’s soccer head coaches.

2015 SSC WOMEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Rank    School (FPV) Total Votes
1 Barry (4) 59
2 Rollins (4) 58
3 Saint Leo (1) 52
4 Florida Tech 37
5 Tampa 36
6 Eckerd 24
7 Nova Southeastern 22
8 Florida Southern 21
9 Lynn 15

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