SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The College of Charleston women's soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Southern Conference by a poll conducted by the league's coaches.
The Cougars, after finishing the 2011 regular season tied for second place and advancing to the tournament final, garnered 106 points in the voting and earned a first-place vote.
"It's always nice to be voted at or near the top of the league by your peers," said head coach Christian Michner, "so we're flattered that the league's coaches see College of Charleston in that light. But, as I always say, it's just a prediction and those don't always align, do they?
"Every coach in the SoCon will be preparing their team to try and beat us so we won't take anything for granted and know we'll have to fight for every point we get this season."
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team or players in the balloting.
The coaches also voted on a preseason all-conference team and senior midfielder Sarah Schaidle was included on the list.
"Sarah being selected to the preseason All-Conference team is no real shock," said Michner. "I think she's the best player in our league and for the other coaches to have voted her in is a real honor. If she can improve on her amazing junior-year performance, she will be a player to be reckoned all season long for the Cougars."
CofC returns 15 letter winners from last season and adds a nationally-renowned recruiting class of 10 newcomers.
Defending league champions Samford were picked to repeat as league champions with 120 points in the voting and 10 first-place nods.
The Cougars open the 2012 campaign with an exhibition match against Wake Forest on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Patriots Point. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and admission is free to the public.