RICHARDSON, Texas – The West Texas A&M women’s soccer team enters the 2014 fall season ranked third in the Lone Star Conference preseason poll, as announced Wednesday by the league’s office in Richardson, Texas. Additionally, returning senior Rhea Belgrave was named LSC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The league's preseason polls and awards reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
Defending LSC Tournament Champion and Co-Regular Season Champion Midwestern State tops the preseason poll with 80 overall votes and six first-place votes, followed by Co-Champion Angelo State with 72 overall votes and seven first-place votes. The Lady Buffs received 61 votes in the poll at third. Texas A&M-Commerce (51 overall, two first-place votes), Texas Woman’s (27 overall) and Eastern New Mexico (24 overall) round out the rankings.
Belgrave earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors after an outstanding 2013 junior campaign where she was named LSC Defensive Player of the Year. The Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, native led a Lady Buff backline that produced eight shutouts a year ago. She played in all 20 games her junior season while getting the starting nod in 19 and tallying 1,825 minutes, which was the most on the team. Belgrave manufactured 22 shots and nine shots-on-goal and was named Daktronics Second-Team All-Region, NSCAA Second-Team All-Region, LSC First-Team All-Conference and to the LSC All-Tournament Team.
Ashley Cottrell of MSU was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while ENMU’s Alyxandra Ortiz was tabbed Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.
Head Coach Chad Webb recently concluded his fourth season at the helm of the Lady Buff program, leading the team to the 2013 Lone Star Conference Championship game with a 6-8-6 (3-5-2 LSC) record. The Lady Buffs defeated No. 1 seed and host Angelo State, 1-0, in the tournament semifinals before tying MSU, 2-2, and falling in PK’s in the tournament championship. Last season marked the team’s 17th LSC Tournament appearance in 18 years of the program’s existence.
WT will begin the 2014 season on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. against Metro State in Denver, Colo.
LSC Preseason Poll
Women’s Soccer 1st TOTAL
1 Midwestern State 6 80
2 Angelo State 7 72
3 West Texas A&M 61
4 Texas A&M-Commerce 2 51
5 Texas Woman's 27
6 Eastern New Mexico 24