JONESBORO (Ark St)- With the start of the regular season less than a week away, the Arkansas State women's soccer team has been picked to finish in second place in the Sun Belt Conference in a preseason vote of the league's nine head coaches that was revealed Tuesday morning by the SBC office.
A-State received 55 points overall to trail only the eight first-place votes and 80 points received by Western Kentucky in the preseason poll.
In addition to the poll, the league office also announced the preseason all-conference team that featured A-State junior midfielder Christina Fink and sophomore forward Loren Mitchell. The pair combined to lead the Red Wolves in goals, assists, points, shots and shots on goal last season.
Fink was tabbed a preseason all-conference selection after leading ASU with nine goals and 25 points in 2012. Both marks rank second all-time on the school's all-time scoring list and she moved into the top-10 for career goals and points as well. Fink finished the year tied for third in the conference in points and in a tie for sixth in goals. Her five game-winning goals on the year were a school record for a single season and is a mark that also ranks second on the school's career list for game-winning marks.
Mitchell finished second on the team with seven goals and 17 points as a freshman and missed tying the school's all-time record for goals by a freshman by one. She ranks in the top-10 in school history for goals, points, shots and shots on goal in a single season.
The Red Wolves had the second most selections of any team in the Sun Belt with its two selections. Western Kentucky was the only squad to place more players on the preseason all-conference team than ASU.
Arkansas State will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 23 against Southern Miss at 4 p.m. at the ASU Soccer Complex.
SBC Preseason All-Conference Team
Loren Mitchell (Arkansas State, Sophomore, Forward) Cecilia Thorngren (Troy, Senior, Forward) Lauren Moats (Western Kentucky, Sophomore, Forward) Christina Fink (Arkansas State, Junior, Midfielder) Karlea Fehr (ULM, Sophomore, Midfielder) Clarissa Hernandez (South Alabama, Senior, Midfielder) Chrissy Tchoula (Western Kentucky, Midfielder) Grace Howell-Harries (Louisiana-Lafayette, Junior, Defender) Jess Oram (South Alabama, Senior, Defender) Torrie Lange (Western Kentucky, Senior, Defender) Stephanie Lindsey (Western Kentucky, Senior, Defender) Nikki Hall (Western Kentucky, Sophomore, Goalkeeper)
SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Chrissy Tchoula (Western Kentucky, Senior, Midfielder)
SBC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Torrie Lange (Western Kentucky, Senior, Defender)
SBC Preseason Poll
1. WKU (8) 80
2. Arkansas State 55
3. Georgia State 54
3. Texas State 54
5. South Alabama (1) 47
6. Troy 46
7. Louisiana-Lafayette 29
8. UALR 23
9. Louisiana-Monroe 17