Entering the 2016 soccer season, South Alabama is once again projected to bring home the Sun Belt title. On Tuesday, the conference released its preseason all-conference team and preseason poll, which is topped by the back-to-back Sun Belt women’s soccer regular season champions.
The preseason poll was voted on by the conference’s 11 coaches, with the Jaguars receiving ten first-place votes. Troy was picked to finish second.
Along with the preseason poll and all-conference team, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Steffi Hardy was picked to defend her title for South Alabama this year.
On the offensive side of the ball, South Alabama’s Charde Hannah and Lauren Prater of Texas State were voted preseason co-offensive players of the year.
The 2016 Sun Belt Conference women’s soccer season begins on Friday, Aug. 19. The conference tournament will be held Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex in Foley, Ala.
You can see the full preseason all-conference team and preseason award winners below:
2016 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
Jennifer Wittick (Georgia Southern, Senior, Forward)
Yazmin Montoya (UL Lafayette, Senior, Forward)
* Chardé Hannah (South Alabama, Junior, Forward)
** Lauren Prater (Texas State, Senior, Forward)
** Caitlyn Eddy (Little Rock, Sophomore, Midfielder)
* Suzanne Arafa (Georgia State, Senior, Midfielder)
* Danielle Henley (South Alabama, Junior, Midfielder)
* Lindsey Tully (Appalachian State, Junior, Defender)
* Steffi Hardy (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
** Jemma Purfield (South Alabama, Sophomore, Defender)
* Mikki Lewis (Troy, Junior, Goalkeeper)
* – denotes 2015 First-Team All-Conference | ** denotes 2015 Second-Team All-Conference
2016 Sun Belt Preseason Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Chardé Hannah (South Alabama, Sophomore, Forward)
Lauren Prater (Texas State, Senior, Forward)
2016 Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Steffi Hardy (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
2016 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. South Alabama (10) – 120 pts
2. Troy – 102 pts
3. Coastal Carolina – 86 pts
4. Appalachian State – 81 pts
5. Little Rock – 77 pts
6. Texas State – 76 pts
7. Georgia Southern – 53 pts
8. Georgia State – 49 pts
9. UL Lafayette (1) – 46 pts
10. Arkansas State – 20 pts
11. UL Monroe – 16 pts