UCF Chosen C-USA Women's Soccer Preseason Favorite
Aug. 9, 2011
IRVING, Texas - Defending C-USA regular-season champion UCF has been selected by the league's 12 coaches as the preseason favorite to be the Conference USA Women's Soccer Champion in 2011. The reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Tishia Jewell of UCF and C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Lizzy Simonin of Memphis repeated the honors in the preseason voting.
The Knights placed a total of four players on the 2011 preseason all-conference team, including Jewell. The junior forward was instrumental in the Knights' 16-5-3 record last season. Jewell was the league's top scorer in 2010 with 32 points, including 12 assists that ranked her 17th nationally in that category. She was joined on the preseason team by senior goalkeeper Aline Reis, senior midfielder Katie Jackson and sophomore defender Marissa Diggs. Reis and Jackson were also on the 2010 All-Conference USA first team with Jewell, while Diggs earned second-team honors in her rookie season.
Memphis, which won its fourth-straight C-USA tournament title, was two votes behind and picked second in the coaches' preseason vote. Simonin's performance at center back helped the Tigers to 11 shutouts and a 15-4-3 record in 2010. Memphis has compiled 46 wins during her three-year career.
Colorado College was chosen third by the coaches and the Tigers are represented on the all-preseason squad by sophomore defender Sierra Keeler.
Houston was selected fourth, while crosstown rival Rice earned the fifth spot with only seven votes separating the pair. UH junior midfielder Katelyn Rhodes and Rice junior forward/defender Amy Beger earned all-conference first team honors in 2010 and the preseason selection in 2011. SMU was a close sixth and senior defender Kaitlyn Eidson represents the Mustangs on the preseason team.
Tulsa sophomore midfielder Jordan O'Brien, the 2011 C-USA Freshman of the Year and only freshman to earn first-team all-conference honors a year ago, and East Carolina senior forward Amanda Malkiewicz round out the 11-member preseason team.
The top eight teams at the conclusion of the regular season earn a spot in the 2011 Conference USA Championship, hosted Nov. 2-6 by Memphis. The league's 17th season kicks off Friday, Aug. 19.
2011 C-USA PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2011 C-USA PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2011 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAM
2011 C-USA PRESEASON POLL