July 23, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Southeastern Conference soccer coaches have picked Auburn to finish third in the Western Division this season in the league's annual preseason poll.
"The SEC is incredibly strong this year," Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. "Last year we had six teams in the NCAA Tournament, and this year I expect even more. Every SEC game we play is going to be a battle, and we are excited for the challenge."
The Tigers finished the 2012 season with a 13-11-1 overall record and a 7-6-0 SEC record. Auburn advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the championship match of the SEC Tournament last season.
Auburn returns 11 letterwinners from last season, including sophomore defender Kala Faulkner and junior forward Tori Ball who each started all 25 matches last season. Auburn opens the 2013 season Friday, Aug. 23, at home against Clemson.
The Tigers will play seven of their first 10 matches at home, including the conference-opener against Kentucky on Sept. 20.
Points for the preseason poll were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division, though coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
The 21st season of women's soccer in the SEC begins Aug. 23, with conference play set to begin Sept. 20. The 2013 SEC Tournament is Nov. 4-10 at the Orange Beach (Ala.) Sportsplex.
Preseason Coaches' Poll (First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
SEC Champion: Texas A&M (8), Florida (6)
Florida (11) 89
Tennessee (3) 71
South Carolina 42
Texas A&M (13) 91
LSU (1) 67 Auburn 62
Ole Miss 52
Mississippi State 21