Aug. 11, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer was picked to finish fourth in the SEC this season in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll that was released on Thursday.
The No. 24 Gamecocks, who open the season on the road against Oklahoma on Aug. 19, received 135 points in the poll. Points were compiled on a 13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, and each coach was not allowed to vote for his/her own team.
Seventh-ranked Florida topped the poll with 165 points and 10 of 14 first-place votes, while No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 12 Auburn rounded out the top three. South Carolina’s matches against the Gators (Oct. 16), Aggies (Sept. 29) and Tigers (Sept. 18) will all be broadcast on SEC Network.
The Gamecocks return six starters and 16 letterwinners from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad that posted a 12-5-3 mark and tallied the fifth-most single-season goals (44) in program history. Notable returnees include 2015 NSCAA Third-Team All-American Savannah McCaskill and seniors Sophie Groff and Chelsea Drennan. McCaskill totaled a team-high 29 points as a sophomore last fall, while Groff enters her final season with career totals of 15 goals and seven assists. Drennan, one of four Gamecocks to notch double-digit points in 2015, has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons.
Season tickets are on sale now, with soccer fans yet again getting the best deal offered for tickets. For $25 adults and $10 for youth 17 and under, purchasers receive a season ticket to every women’s and men’s soccer match this season and a customized Gamecock Soccer vuvuzela. To take advantage of the offer, call 800-472-3267 or visit GamecocksOnline.com/Tickets.
Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Florida (10 first-place votes), 165 points
2. Texas A&M (4 first-place votes), 154 points
3. Auburn, 141 points
4. South Carolina, 135 points
5. LSU, 108 points
6. Missouri, 105 points
7. Kentucky, 98 points
8. Ole Miss, 85 points
9. Tennessee, 84 points
10. Vanderbilt, 56 points
11. Georgia, 52 points
12. Arkansas, 35 points
13. Alabama, 29 points
14. Mississippi State, 27 points