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Lady Govs Soccer picked ninth in OVC preseason poll

 

Austin Peay State University GovernorsAustin Peay State University women’s soccer team was picked to finish ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference race in a preseason poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors, the OVC announced, Tuesday.

This marked the second straight year the Lady Govs were tabbed ninth in the preseason poll. Last season, Austin Peay fulfilled the early prognostication, going 1-13-4 overall, with an 0-6-2 OVC clip.

Murray State headlined the poll with 117 votes (7 first-place), followed closely by Morehead State with 116 votes (9 first-place). The gap widened as UT Martin (86) and Tennessee Tech (77) – a pair of teams with first-year head coaches – were picked third and fourth, with Eastern Kentucky (74) making up the top five. Eastern Illinois (70), Southeast Missouri (60), Jacksonville State (32) and Austin Peay (16) rounded out the poll.

Lady Govs Soccer - (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Lady Govs Soccer - (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

“It’s not really unexpected,” said Austin Peay head coach Kelley Guth. “We all know that the preseason poll is a guess based on last year. Teams change a lot and the dynamic of our team has changed significantly. I don’t put much thought into the poll. It is, however, a motivational factor. It’s something that we can strive to prove people wrong.”

The Lady Govs are looking to improve upon a lackluster 2009 offensive season, which saw them drop seven one-goal games. A group of seven incoming freshman that includes five forwards should be able to play alongside the team’s returning leading goal-scorers – seniors Kellie Cannon and Monique Wong.

Defensively, Austin Peay returns starting goalkeeper Carley Newman, as well as OVC All-Newcomer pick Jazzmine Chandler, senior centerback Hannah Jones and senior Samantha Northrup.

Austin Peay reports to preseason camp, today, and begins the 2010 season with an August 13th, home exhibition match against Freed-Hardeman. The season kicks off on the road at Virginia Military Institute before returning to Clarksville for a three-match home stand.

League play for the Lady Govs begins at home for the second straight season when they host Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri, September 24th and 26th, respectively. The OVC slate will be a daunting task as the Lady Govs play road matches at 2009 regular-season champ Morehead State and 2009 OVC tourney champ Murray State.

“I think we’ve set up a pre-conference schedule that’s heavy on the road and will help to simulate what it will be like when conference play starts,” Guth said. “We’re going to do whatever we can to prepare our team for those weekends. It’s going to be good to be at home on the first conference weekend with a chance to establish ourselves early.”


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