Thomasville, NC -- Belmont Abbey women's soccer has been selected the top team going into the 2007 season. Conference Carolinas head coaches voted the Crusaders the top team in an annual preseason poll to rank predicted order of finish within the league. The conference was recently renamed to Conference Carolinas from the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference with all competing league teams now in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Belmont Abbey women's soccer team has won the last two conference championship titles and will look to add a third as it returns all 11 starters from last season's 16-4-1 team that posted a 9-1-1 mark in conference play. The Abbey posted 10 shutouts, including seven of its last ten opponents. The Abbey returns its top two scorers in the form of senior forward Erin Kolb and senior midfielder Stephanie Leotti. Kolb led the Crusaders with 12 goals, and Leotti added ten and a team-high six assists. Both earned First Team All-Conference honors, and Kolb posted First Team All-Region honors, while Leotti added Second Team All-Region honors. The Crusaders also return junior defender Danielle Kubinski and senior goalkeeper Anna Wells, who both earned Second Team All-Conference honors last season.
Queens University of Charlotte is also excited for the 2007 women's soccer season and finished in a close second-place in the coaches' preseason poll. The team returns many of their starters from last year's regular season conference championship team that finished 10-1 in league play and 14-5 overall. The Royals will be led by All-Region player, Jackie Groff; Second Team All-Conference players Kristin Kornacki and Brittany Clark; and All-Tournament players, Hayley Pasko, Mary-Ashley Davino, and Kari Byzewski. The Royals have added nine new, talented freshmen to the mix to round out the 27 member squad under second year head coach Katie Talbert.
The Pfeiffer University women's soccer team comes in at number three in this year's preseason poll. With great expectation, head coach Sarah Denton has added twelve to an already dynamic squad of experienced returnees. Anchored in the back under the leadership of senior team captain Kristen Brahosky, the Falcons look, through an impressive schedule, to improve upon last year's 16-5 overall record (9-2 conf.). "There is a great sense of excitement among the team and coaching staff," commented Coach Denton. "We are eager to fulfill our goals." On Thursday, August 23rd, Pfeiffer opens their season on the road in a regional match-up against UNC- Pembroke.
Rounding out the poll 4-12 were: Mount Olive, Barton, Limestone, Lees-McRae, Erskine, St. Andrews, Anderson, Coker, and Converse respectively.
Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Preseason Poll (# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Belmont Abbey (6) 113
2. Queens (3) 110
3. Pfeiffer (2) 103
4. Mount Olive 94
5. Barton 73
6. Limestone 71
7. Lees-McRae 53
8. Erskine 51
9. St. Andrews (1) 47
10. Anderson 35
11. Coker 28
12. Converse 14