Austin Peay Sports Information Office
Brentwood, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s soccer team has been tabbed to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference for the upcoming 2014 season according to the preseason poll tabulated by conference coaches and sports information directors.
After reaching at least the OVC Championship semifinal stage for the third time in four years, the Lady Govs replace eight seniors who led the squad to a 48-27-5 composite four-year mark in their time on campus.
Head coach Kelley Guth will blend an influx of young talent (10 freshmen) with experienced hands in Gina Fabbro, who was an All-Newcomer honoree in 2013, and Shelby Olszewski, who took home all-tournament honors at last season’s OVC Championships.
Defending tournament champion Morehead State was picked to repeat, earning 192 points and 12 first-place votes.
UT Martin, which won the regular season crown for the second year in a row, was picked second with 187 points and eight first-place votes.
SIU Edwardsville (151, two votes) and Southeast Missouri (150) were third and fourth, respectively, with Austin Peay (114) and Eastern Illinois (101) picked to round out the field of six in November’s OVC Championship.
Belmont (96 points) and Eastern Kentucky (84) narrowly missed the top six spots. Murray State (62), Jacksonville State (48) and Tennessee Tech (25) rounded out the field.
“I don’t see us as a team that will be in the middle of the pack, but it’s not unexpected,” Guth said. “We graduated a lot of impact players that played a lot of minutes for us. It’s a poll created based on information from last year, and I think we have the potential to do much better than that.
“We’ve got a group of players that are committed to being better than middle-of-the-pack. I think we’re very confident and energetic about the season ahead.”
Austin Peay, which reported to camp on Tuesday, will make its exhibition debut at Indiana State, 5:00pm, August 11th.
The regular season commences with a date against Evansville, 7:00pm, August 22nd.