Atlanta, GA – If there is one thing that Austin Peay State University (APSU) soccer and first-year head coach Kim McGowan are looking to do in its first season as a member of the ASUN Conference, it is proving the league’s preseason rankings and all-conference selections wrong.
The preseason coaches poll picked the Governors to finish 13th in the 14-team race – two points above fellow ASUN newcomer, Queens. In addition, APSU did not have a student-athlete named to the ASUN’s 11-member Preseason All-Conference Team.
In addition to Baumgart, the Govs return three goalscorers from last season in sophomores Haley Patterson and Olivia Prock and junior Tori Case.
The APSU Govs’ 11 newcomers are comprised of seven freshmen and four transfers. Those transfers – Regan Nolan, Coastal Carolina; Chloe Murphy, North Alabama; Annabel Anderson, Virginia Commonwealth; and Marli Niederhauser, Utah State – bring a combined nine seasons of experience and 93 matches played.
Niederhauser, the ASUN Women’s Soccer Fan-Voted Player of the Year, signed with the Govs in April after spending the first four years of her collegiate career in Logan, Utah where she played in 69 matches, starting 27.
“Austin Peay State University is a new member to the ASUN, and we are hoping to surprise some people with the amount of work we have been doing to prepare for the change of conference,” said McGowan. “Not only do we have some new faces like forwards Marli Neiderhauser and Annabel Anderson, but we are also returning some impact players that include Anna McPhie and Alec Baumgardt.
“Every fall there is a soccer season, and we are looking forward to the Governors having a successful one.”
The preseason poll picked Lipscomb to repeat as league champion with 12 of 14 first-place votes and 189 points. The Bisons also had the unanimous Preseason Defensive Player of the Year selection in Shelby Craft and the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year in CJ Graham.
Florida Gulf Coast, which claimed the ASUN West title in 2021, was picked second with one first place vote and 178 points and had the Preseason Player of the Year in Louise Lillback.
Following the Bisons and Eagles in the polling were Liberty (154 points), Kennesaw State (152), North Florida (132), Central Arkansas (127), Eastern Kentucky (108), Bellarmine (86), Stetson (85), Jacksonville (81) Jacksonville State (61), North Alabama (45) followed by APSU (37) and Queens (35). The Royals received the final first-place vote.
McGowan’s debut season begins on August 7th with a 2:00pm exhibition match against Little Rock followed by an August 14th exhibition match against Western Kentucky. Both contests are at Morgan Brothers Soccer Field.
Austin Peay State University kicks off the regular season on the road with an August 18th match against Miami (OH) that begins at 3:00pm in Oxford, Ohio.
Follow the APSU Govs
For news and updates ahead of Austin Peay State University’s inaugural season in the ASUN Conference, follow the soccer team on Twitter and Instagram (@GovsWSOC) and Facebook (Austin Peay Women’s Soccer).