Aug. 7, 2012
The Auburn soccer team debuted at No. 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Preseason Poll, released on Tuesday. Auburn is one of four SEC teams in the initial rankings.
The defending SEC Tournament Champions, Auburn returns 17 letterwinners in 2012, including eight starters. Senior midfielder Ana Cate (nine goals, six assists in 2011) and sophomore forward Tatiana Coleman (seven goals, eight assists) are the top offensive weapons for head coach Karen Hoppa's club while senior goalkeeper Amy Howard owns a career 1.24 goals against average and has posted 15 shutouts, third-most in Auburn history.
Auburn has played in six consecutive NCAA Tournaments after earning the SEC's automatic berth last year. To return to the NCAA Tournament, Auburn will have to navigate a schedule that includes a trip to the west coast to face Pepperdine (Aug. 24) and UC Irvine (Aug. 26) and also includes matches against SEC newcomers Missouri (Sept. 14) and Texas A&M (Sept. 23).
Auburn began preseason preparations on Wednesday, Aug. 1 for the Aug. 17 season-opener at home against Georgia State (7pm CT).
The three other SEC teams in the preseason Top 25 are Texas A&M (T-14th), Florida (21st) and South Carolina (24th).
Complete NSCAA Pre-Season Top 25