Lady Crusaders Ranked 9th in Preseason Top 25 Poll

William Carey athletics news release

Kansas City, Mo.- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2014 Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll and William Carey University will begin the season ranked 9th.

Last season WCU posted a 18-5 overall record and a perfect 11-0 record in SSAC play as they outscored their opponents 40-6 conference action. Carey didn't let up in the SSAC tournament as they rolled to the Championship with three straight wins to secure their first conference title since joining the league in 2010. In the national tournament WCU defeated Our Lady of the Lady in the opening round but in the round of 16 Carey dropped a heart breaking 1-0 overtime loss against No. 6 Embry-Riddle.

Owens returns the core group from last year's team led by All-American's Lauren Satcher (SR/Hattiesburg, Miss.), Linfah Jones (JR/Trinidad ), and Claudia Saucedo (SR/Miami, Fla.). Also returning are starters Brittany Lang (JR/Biloxi, Miss.), Ashley Allen (SR/Slidell, La.), Casey Miniard (SR/Cincinatti, Ohio), and Morgan Marfisi (SR/Tomball, Texas). "We have a great group of girls returning to the team next year.  We have our entire back line and goalkeeper returning along with some other girls that gave us some very strong minutes over the year," said Owens. " Last season we had girls step that did not start the previous year and this year we are looking for the very same thing with the girls that we have returning.  I really like the group we have returning and I am excited to see them compete on the field this year."

"I am excited about the class we have coming in this year.  We had some holes we needed to fill and I think this class addresses those needs.  The majority of the girls we have coming in are some sort of transfer whether it is from a Junior College or a 4 year program, so we have some maturity with this class only having 2 true freshman joining the program.  They will need to step up right away…we are going to need these girls to come in and play if we want to accomplish our goals we will set for the season."

Defending national champs Concordia (Ore.) claimed the top spot while national tournament runner up Westmont (Calif.) was ranked 2nd.

No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) and No. 5 Concordia (Calif.) each claim the same spots from their 2013 postseason rankings in the top five, respectively.

The poll held mostly steady heading into 2014, as only two schools jumped up in the rankings since the end of last year – No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) jumped up one spot from its 2013 postseason ranking, and 14th-ranked Spring Arbor (Mich.) moved up from No. 15.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Preseason Top 25, led by four from the Golden State Athletic Conference – No. 2 Westmont, No. 5 Concordia (Calif.), No. 12 Vanguard (Calif.), and No. 18 The Master's (Calif.). The CCAC, SSAC (#9WCU, #13 Martin Methodist, #17 Brenau) and TSC are tied for second with three teams each.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Sept. 23.

Carey kicks-off the 2014 season on August 22nd against the University of Houston- Victoria (TX). Game time is set for 5:00 pm  at Crusader Field.