Meredith, Salem, Piedmont Tabbed as Preseason USA South Women's Soccer Top Picks

Meredith, Salem, Piedmont Tabbed as Preseason USA South Women's Soccer Top Picks

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) – The USA South Athletic Conference's women's soccer coaches have released their 2017 preseason polls. Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within that particular division-only. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. This is the first season that the Conference will once again split into divisions in the sport of women's soccer as the Conference welcomes new League members Berea College, Brevard College and Pfeiffer University. Brevard and Pfeiffer will not be included in the polls as they are each reclassifying from Division II and are not eligible championship honors this season. 

Atop the USA South East Division poll were both Meredith College, led by 16-year head coach Paul Smith, and Salem College, led by 12-year head coach Jay Callahan. The Avenging Angels are the defending East Division champions, capturing a regular season League title for the third consecutive year. Meredith fell in the semifinals of the USA South tournament and concluded 2016 with a 12-6-0 overall record. The Spirits are moving into the East Division after one season in the West Division where they captured the program's first USA South divisional championship. Salem concluded its season as USA South Tournament Runners-up with an overall record of 18-2-1. Meredith and Salem each received 44 total points in the preseason poll while the Avenging Angels grabbed four first place votes and the Spirits collected three first place votes. Placing third with 38 points and the final first place vote was Methodist University. Ferrum College followed in fourth place with 29 points as N.C. Wesleyan ranked fifth with 27 points. Rounding out the poll were Averett University (19 points), Greensboro College (16 points) and William Peace University (seven points).

Placing first in the USA South West Division poll was defending USA South Tournament Champions, Piedmont College, led by first-year head coach Timmy McCormack. The Lions captured their second consecutive League tournament crown and finished the season in the NCAA Tournament with a 10-3-1 overall record. Piedmont received 48 total points and six first place votes. Placing second in the poll with 41 points and one first place vote was Maryville College while Covenant College was third with 39 points and the final remaining first place vote. Agnes Scott College ranked fifth with 28 points followed closely by Huntingdon College in sixth with 27 points. Rounding out the poll were LaGrange College (18 points), Berea (12 points) and Wesleyan College (11 points).

The women's soccer regular season gets underway on Friday, September 1st as 12 teams take on non-League opposition.

The 2017 USA South Women's Soccer Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-six seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.

 

2017 USA South Women's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
East Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
t-1. Meredith (4) 44
t-1. Salem (3) 44
3. Methodist (1) 38
4. Ferrum 29
5. N.C. Wesleyan 27
6. Averett 19
7. Greensboro 16
8. William Peace 7
--- *Pfeiffer -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
2017 USA South Women's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
West Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Piedmont (6) 48
2. Maryville (1) 41
3. Covenant (1) 39
4. Agnes Scott 28
5. Huntingdon 27
6. LaGrange 18
7. Berea 12
8. Wesleyan 11
--- *Brevard -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)