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Lady Flames and Van Noord Garner Top Big South Preseason Accolades

August 11, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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2015 Big South Preseason Player of the Year Holly Van Noord

2015 Big South Preseason Player of the Year Holly Van Noord

For the second straight year, the Liberty women's soccer team has been voted the preseason favorite in the Big South Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll by the league's head coaches. The announcement was made this afternoon by the conference office. Liberty picked up 119 of 121 possible points and received nine first place votes.

Along with the top spot, Liberty redshirt junior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord was voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Van Noord was also the 2014 Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Campbell redshirt senior forward Ashley Clark was voted the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year.

The Lady Flames concluded the 2014 season with a 14-4-2 record, including an 8-1-1 mark in conference play en route to their third Big South regular season championship in program history. Entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed, Liberty reached the championship final for the second straight year. Squaring off with No. 3 seed High Point, the contest went to penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie. High Point advanced on penalty kicks, 5-4, to capture the 2014 Big South Championship.

The Panthers were voted second behind Liberty with 106 points, while Coastal Carolina was third with 101 points. Radford (75 points) and Campbell (72) round out the preseason top five. Longwood claimed the sixth spot with 63 total points, while Gardner-Webb (57), Winthrop (50), UNC Asheville (40), Charleston Southern (28) and Presbyterian (15) round out the remainder of the poll.

The 2015 Big South women's soccer season begins Aug. 21, with nine of the league's 11 teams in action, while conference play opens Sept. 23. The 2015 Big South Women's Soccer Championship tournament is slated for Oct. 30-Nov. 8, with quarterfinal games at the home sites of the top four seeds the weekend of Oct. 30-Nov. 1, followed by the semifinals (Nov. 6) and finals (Nov. 8) at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.  The top eight teams qualify for the tournament, with the champion receiving the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

2015 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Soccer Poll
Rk   Team (first-place votes) - Points
 1.     Liberty (9) - 119
 2.     High Point (1) - 106
 3.     Coastal Carolina (1) - 101
 4.     Radford - 75
 5.     Campbell - 72
 6.     Longwood - 63
 7.     Gardner-Webb - 57
 8.     Winthrop - 50
 9.     UNC Asheville - 40
10.  Charleston Southern - 28
11.  Presbyterian College - 15