Lady Chants head into 2015 with eyes on Big South title

ccuwsoccer-15headerThe Coastal Carolina University women’s soccer team was picked third in the Big South Conference’s 2015 preseason poll, announced on Tuesday and based on voting by the league’s head coaches.

Liberty, last year’s conference runner-up, finished first with 119 points and nine first-place votes. Defending Big South champion High Point placed second in the voting with 106 points and one first-place vote. The Chanticleers earned 101 of a possible 121 points and also garnered one first-place vote.

Radford came in fourth in the polling with 75 points, followed by Campbell in fifth place with 72 points. Longwood captured the sixth spot with 63 points, ahead of seventh-place Gardner-Webb (57) and eighth-place Winthrop (50). UNC Asheville was picked ninth with 40 points, followed by Charleston Southern (28) and Presbyterian (15).

Led by fifth-year head coach Paul Hogan, the 2014 Big South Coach of the Year, the Chanticleers return 14 starters from last year’s squad that finished 11-8-2 overall and tied for second in the Big South with a 7-2-1 conference record. Coastal’s defense ranked second in the conference last season in fewest goals allowed, never surrendering more than one in any league contest, while the offense finished third in number of goals scored. The 2014 Chants also reached the semifinals of the Big South tournament for the first time since 2008.

Fans can get their first look at the 2015 Chanticleers on Friday, Aug. 14, when Coastal hosts East Tennessee State for an exhibition match at 7 p.m. at the CCU Soccer Stadium. The Chants open their regular season with two straight road matches at Wofford and Charlotte before playing their home opener on Aug. 28 versus Georgia Southern.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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