OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Coming off another successful campaign in 2015, the John Brown University women's soccer team has been picked to finish second in 2016, according to the voting by conference coaches in the annual preseason poll, announced Tuesday (Aug. 9) afternoon by the conference office.
Last season came to a bitter end in Chickasha, Okla., where the Golden Eagles ended its campaign with a 13-6-2 overall record after falling in the Sooner Athletic tournament finals at Science & Arts (Okla.). JBU fell in the finals in penalty kicks to the top-seeded Drovers, marking consecutive seasons in which John Brown fell one goal short of a tournament title.
JBU has appeared in a program-best three consecutive tournament championship finals, besting Oklahoma City in 2013 before dropping a 1-0 decision at Oklahoma Baptist in 2014.
USAO was picked to win the conference regular season title for a second straight season, finishing the poll with 97 points, including six first-place votes. JBU followed closely behind with 91 points and four first place projections. Oklahoma City, a perennial contender, finished third with 86 points.
Including last season's 7-1-1 mark in conference play, the Golden Eagles have posted a 20-4-4 (.714) record in SAC competition over the last three seasons.
The SAC season will conclude with its championship tournament, featuring the top eight teams from the regular season competing in a single-elimination tournament set to begin Friday (Nov. 4). The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic berth into the Opening Round of the NAIA National Championships.
Not only does John Brown return all six of its leading scorers from last season, including All-SAC first team honorees in senior Sara Lachance, junior Sara Frey, sophomores Jastin Redman and Aspen Robinson, the Golden Eagles will welcome back three-time SAC Defensive Player of the Year in keeper Kristin Morency, who was limited to just one game in 2015. Also making their first collegiate appearances this season will be redshirts Kathryn Huff and Kristen Howell.
The Golden Eagles open the 2016 campaign with back-to-back home contests with Lyon (Ark.) and Bellevue (Neb.), on Aug. 20 and 26, respectively. Last season, JBU finished 9-1-0 at Alumni Field.
2016 SAC Preseason Coaches' Poll • First place votes in ( )
- Science & Arts – 97 points (6)
- John Brown – 91 points (4)
- Oklahoma City – 86 points
- Wayland Baptist – 77 points
- Mid-America Christian – 63 points
- Texas Wesleyan – 62 points
- Southwestern A.G. – 48 points
- St. Gregory's – 33 points
- Southwestern Christian – 31 points
- Bacone – 20 points