CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - The Charleston Southern women's soccer team has been picked to finish fifth in the 2018 Big South Conference race in voting by the league's head coaches.
The Buccaneers earned 69 points and were picked as high as second by a pair of coaches. Defending champion High Point received seven of the 11 first place votes and 112 points overall to claim the top spot, followed by Longwood (106 points), Campbell (102) and Radford (92).
Trailing CSU are Gardner-Webb (67 points), Winthrop (52), USC Upstate (48), UNC Asheville (36), Presbyterian (27) and Hampton (15). Upstate and Hampton are making their Big South debut this season. In other preseason voting, Campbell junior forward Alexa Genas and Longwood senior defender Sydney Wallace were picked to repeat as the Big South Attacking and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.
The Bucs featured 10 seniors and eight players who started at least eight games a year ago, including defensive stalwarts Grace Clark, Taylor Francis and Emilie Gilbert and goalkeeper Alyssa Dellacqua. Clark and Francis have started all 54 games over the past three seasons while Dellacqua enters her final season ranked fifth in school history with 217 saves.
CSU plays exhibition games at USC Beaufort tomorrow and against Miami (Fla.) on Saturday in Daytona Beach. The regular season gets underway on August 19 when the Bucs visit Wofford for a noon kickoff.