WINTER PARK, Fla.-- Rollins has been given the nod as the preseason favorite to win the 2012 Sunshine State Conference women’s soccer title, but if the preseason poll proves to be a true indicator of how the season will shape up, competition should be tight in the league this fall.
The top four teams were separated by just 19 points, and each of those squads received first-place votes. The poll was conducted among the league’s head women’s soccer coaches and sports information directors, with the SID votes counting for half as much as the coaches.
Rollins led the poll with 166 points, while collecting three first-place votes. Very close behind was Saint Leo, which placed second with 163 points and nine first-place votes. Tampa took the third spot with 154 points and four first-place nods. Nipping on the Spartans’ heels was Florida Tech with 147 points and two first-place votes.
Lynn gathered 110 points to settle into the No. 5 slot in the poll. Nova Southeastern was sixth with 82 points.
Florida Southern (65), Barry (61), and Eckerd (24) rounded out the poll.
Only five members of the All-SSC First-Team return in 2012 and the Buccaneers have two of them in senior midfielder Melissa Madrid and junior forward Emma Karp. Madrid led the conference with 11 goals and was second with 26 points. Karp chipped in eight goals and seven assists. Both also went on to win first-team All-South Region honors as well.
The Buccaneers open the season with a pair of tough road games in Alabama, facing the Montevallo Falcons of the Peachbelt Conference on Aug. 31 and the North Alabama Lions, who were picked first in the Gulf South Conference, on Sept. 2.
2012 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON WOMEN’S SOCCER POLL
Rank – Team, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 – Rollins, 166 (3)
2 – Saint Leo, 163 (9)
3 – Tampa, 154 (4)
4 – Florida Tech, 147 (2)
5 – Lynn, 110
6 – Nova Southeastern, 82
7 – Florida Southern, 65
8 – Barry, 61
9 – Eckerd, 24