MT Soccer Picked Fifth By League Coaches

August 22, 2001 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee soccer team was chosen fifth in the 2001 Sun Belt Preseason Women's Soccer Poll announced Tuesday by the league office, as voted on by league coaches.

Florida International is expected to pick up where it left off in Sun Belt Conference competition last season. The Golden Panthers were picked first, collecting 71 points and six first-place votes from the league's head coaches to edge out the Denver Pioneers in second place. North Texas was picked third, followed by South Alabama, Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State. Three new programs round out the poll - second-year program Arkansas-Little Rock and first-year program Western Kentucky tied for seventh place, with second-year program Louisiana-Lafayette picked ninth. 2001 will be the second season of championship women's soccer competition in the Sun Belt Conference.

While last year's leading scorer for Middle Tennessee, Kenya Hickey, won't be on the field she will be on the sideline as a graduate assistant for the Lady Raiders. Junior Sarah Schulz now holds a school-record 17 career assists, including six last season, provides support in the offense. Sophomore Jenny Cox, a First Team All-Sun Belt honoree, finished the 2000 campaign scoring 15 points on five goals and five assists. Junior defender Sheri Robbins contributed nine points last season on three goals and three assists. In the net, senior Jessica Busey and sophomore Emily Shrum will challenge for the spot vacated by Jennifer Robb.

The Blue Raiders open the season at the Southern Miss Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss., August 31-September 2. MT takes on the host Golden Eagles at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31, with a match against Nicholls State at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 2.

The 2001 Sun Belt Conference Women's Soccer Championship Tournament will be Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at University Park on the campus of Florida International University in Miami.

Sun Belt Announces Preseason Soccer Poll

Rank Team (First Place Votes) Pts. 1. Florida International (6) 71 2. Denver (1) 69 3. North Texas (2) 65 4. South Alabama 58 5. Middle Tennessee 43 6. Arkansas State 34 t7. Arkansas-Little Rock 25 t7. Western Kentucky 25 9. Louisiana-Lafayette 15 * - as voted by Sun Belt head coaches

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