Poll picks Coastal women in middle of Big South pack

The Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team was tabbed fifth in the Big South preseason poll, announced on Monday and based on voting by the conference’s head coaches.

Two-time defending tournament champion Radford was picked to finish first, totaling 139 points and eight of the 12 first-place votes. High Point, last year’s regular-season champion, took second with 123 points and three first-place votes. Winthrop was third with 113 points and one first-place vote, followed by Longwood with 98 points. Coastal was just behind the Lancers with 97 points. Campbell placed sixth with 92 points, Liberty was seventh with 88 and Charleston Southern eighth with 57. UNC Asheville was picked ninth with 49 points, with Gardner-Webb (39), Presbyterian College (27) and VMI (14) rounding out the league.

Coastal is coming off a 2012 campaign in which they posted a 10-9 overall record and went 7-4 in Big South play to finish fifth in a competitive league race. The Chanticleers return 20 members of that squad, including first team All-Big South selection Kacey Kelley and Freshman of the Year Fia Jonsson, who led the team with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Starting goalkeeper Megan Spencer is also back, along with fellow seniors Alyssa Clark, Amanda Clark, Cisca Okoko and Christina Stern.

The Chants open the season Friday night at home against Elon. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the CCU Soccer Field, which will also host the semifinals and championship of this year’s Big South Tournament.

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