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Lady Flames Picked 7th in Big South Poll
Liberty has been picked to finish seventh in the 2013 Big South Conference preseason women's soccer poll, as voted upon by the league's head coaches. The announcement was made by the conference earlier this afternoon. Head coach Jessica Hain's squad tallied a total of 89 points, which included one second-place vote.
Radford, which is looking for its third straight Big South Championship, received eight first-place votes and 139 out of a possible 144 points in the voting to finish ahead of High Point, which totaled three top votes and 123 points from the panel. The Highlanders, coached by 17-year head coach Ben Sohrabi, finished the 2012 season with a 14-3-4 overall record and a 7-0-4 record in the Big South.
Winthrop came in at No. 3 in the voting with one top bid and 113 points, followed by Longwood with 98 points and Coastal Carolina with 97 points. Campbell garnered the No. 6 spot with 92 points. Charleston Southern claimed the No. 8 position with 57 points, ahead of UNC Asheville who collected 49 points. Gardner-Webb checked in at No. 10 with 39 points and at No. 11 was Presbyterian College, who recorded 27 points. VMI rounded out the list with 14 points.
In addition, the coaches voted Winthrop forward Krystyna Freda the League's Preseason Attacking Player of the Year and Radford goalkeeper Che' Brown the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Heading into the 2013 season, the Liberty Lady Flames return 16 players from last year's squad, including junior forward Helena Pereira and 2012 Big South All-Freshman team members Jaime Bouffard and Brittany Aanderud. After beginning last season with its best start in program history, Liberty ended 2012 tying its third-highest win total with an 11-7-3 record.
Liberty kicks off its season at Charlotte, this Friday, at 7 p.m. The Lady Flames make their Osborne Stadium debut on Aug. 30, when they play host to Old Dominion at 4 p.m.
The 2013 Big South women's soccer season begins Friday, Aug. 23, with all 12 teams in action. The Big South Women's Soccer Championship will feature the top eight teams in the final standings and will begin Saturday, Nov. 1 with quarterfinal matches at campus sites. The semifinals and finals will be held at Coastal Carolina the weekend of Nov. 8-10.