Hardin-Simmons has been picked to win its 10th straight American Southwest Conference Women’s Soccer title in a vote of conference head coaches and sports information directors and Katie Kuykendall and Courtney Cramer have been named the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year in the conference.
The Cowgirls received 25 of the 26 first-place votes. HSU has a 145-game unbeaten streak in league play dating back to 2000 and has won nine straight ASC title and 15 overall. The Cowgirls went 20-2 last year, return eight starters and are ranked 10th nationally in the preseason.
Texas-Dallas was picked to be runnerup. The Comets are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago. Texas-Tyler, Concordia, Howard Payne and Mississippi College were picked to be the top six. The ASC sends the top six teams to the ASC Championship Tournament at the end of the year.
East Texas Baptist, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas Lutheran, LeTourneau, Louisiana College, Ozarks and Schreiner round out the poll.
Kuykendall, a senior midfielder from Weatherford, was the ASC co-offensive player of the year last year after an 18 goal, 10 assist season. She is the ASC’s all-time leader in assists with 61.
Cramer, a junior defender, helped lead a unit a year ago that had 18 shutouts and allowed just eight goals on the year.
Kuykendall and Cramer were each all-Americans and first team all-ASC selections last year.
The 2012 ASC season – the 17th in league history – begins as early as Aug. 31. The six-team, single elimination conference tournament is slated for Nov. 1-4 – with an off day on Nov. 3 – at the site of the regular season champion. An automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championship will be on the line.
NOTES: New head coaches in the conference are Barry Elkins of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Myranda Sanders of Concordia Texas and Larry Schaffer of Texas Lutheran. . . . Hardin-Simmons is ranked No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire Division III Women's Coaches Top 25 Poll. . . . Entering his 13th season at Hardin-Simmons, Wood ranks fourth all-time among women’s soccer head coaches from all NCAA levels with an .865 winning percentage (218-26-19). . . . To talk about ASC Soccer on Twitter this season, use the hashtag: #ASCsoccer.
2012 ASC PRESEASON WOMEN’S SOCCER POLL
[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors]
Team (first place votes) Points 2011 Record
1. Hardin-Simmons (25) 337 20-2, 13-0 ASC (1st)
2. Texas-Dallas (1) 306 16-5, 12-1 ASC (2nd)
3. Texas-Tyler 270 10-6-3, 9-3-1 ASC (5th)
4. Concordia Texas 253 14-6, 10-3 ASC (3rd)
5. Howard Payne 238 11-6-1, 9-3 ASC (4th)
6. Mississippi College 207 10-7-1, 7-5-1 ASC (7th)
7. East Texas Baptist 190 11-6-1, 8-4 ASC (6th)
8. Mary Hardin-Baylor 160 5-12-1, 5-8 ASC (T8th)
9. Texas Lutheran 119 5-13, 5-8 ASC (T8th)
10. LeTourneau 90 3-15, 2-11 ASC (T11th)
11. Louisiana College 79 2-17, 2-11 ASC (T11th)
12. Ozarks 62 3-16, 2-11 ASC (T11th)
13. Schreiner 55 3-15, 2-11 ASC (T11th)