Women’s Soccer Predicted Fourth; Barnekow Named Preseason All-SoCon
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The UNCG women's soccer team was picked to finish fourth in the annual Southern Conference preseason poll, which was compiled from a vote taken of the conference's 12 head coaches and officially released Wednesday by the SoCon office. Redshirt senior Cat Barnekow was selected to the Preseason All-Southern Conference team.
"We are very honored that the coaches in the Southern Conference have chosen us in the preseason top four for 2012," said head coach Steve Nugent. "Our players are very focused on competing for the SoCon title and it shows every day in our training environment."
Samford, the defending 2011 SoCon tournament champion, was predicted to win the league after garnering 10 of 12 first-place votes and 120 points in the poll, followed by College of Charleston with 106.
The Spartans, who finished the 2011 regular season in second-place with a 7-3-1 record, landed just below third-place Furman (97) in fourth with 88 points. Davidson was fifth with 80 points, followed by Elon (77), Georgia Southern (53), Western Carolina (50), The Citadel (44), Appalachian State (37), Wofford (28) and Chattanooga (12).
The Spartans are led by second-year head coach Steve Nugent who returns six starters from last season's 8-10-1 squad. UNCG welcomes 17 newcomers, including 16 freshmen to the mix this season hoping to claim its eighth SoCon Tournament title.
A preseason pick at defender, Barnekow was third in the nation and led the SoCon in assists with a career-high 14 in 2010. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native was a Second-Team NSCAA/Performance Subaru All-Southeast Region selection and was a First-Team All-SoCon honoree that season. Barnekow is returning after suffering a season-ending injury last season after notching career highs in points (22) and goals (four) in 2010. She is a two-time all-league selection after taking second-team honors as a sophomore.
"Cat is a very deserving candidate for preseason All-Conference and we are looking forward to seeing her back on the field representing UNCG," said Nugent.
Samford will host the SoCon Championship on Nov. 2 and 4 at the Samford Track & Soccer Stadium.
The Blue and Gold will host ACC power North Carolina at the UNCG Soccer Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m., in an exhibition match. The 2012 season will officially kick off on Friday, Aug. 17 against SEC foe Georgia at 7 p.m. at UGA Soccer Stadium.
2012 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Samford (10) 120
2. College of Charleston (1) 106
3. Furman (1) 97
4. UNCG 88
5. Davidson 80
6. Elon 77
7. Georgia Southern 53
8. Western Carolina 50
9. The Citadel 44
10. Appalachian State 37
11. Wofford 28
12. Chattanooga 12
() denotes first-place votes
2012 Women's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
F Vanessa Aponte, The Citadel
F Becca Fisher, Davidson
F Martha Hall, Furman
F Becca Smith, Chattanooga
MF Sarah Schaidle, College of Charleston
MF Mariana Garcia, The Citadel
MF Michelle Moll, Samford
D Ali Simpson, Furman
D Cat Barnekow, UNCG
D Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, Samford
GK Kate Murphy, Elon
- UNCG -