BATON ROUGE – With the start of preseason training just over two weeks away, the LSU Soccer team has been picked to finish in second place in the SEC Western Division in a preseason vote of the league’s 14 head coaches that was revealed Tuesday morning by the Southeastern Conference office.
The Tigers received one first-place vote to finish as the top team in the SEC West and 67 points overall to trail only the 13 first-place votes and 91 points received by Texas A&M in the preseason poll.
The Aggies are also the preseason favorites to claim their first SEC regular season championship in just their second season in the league as they received eight first-place votes for the overall crown. The defending SEC champion Florida Gators received the remaining six first-place votes to retain the title they won over runner-up Texas A&M during the 2012 season.
Trailing Texas A&M and LSU in the SEC Western Division preseason poll is Auburn in third place with 62 points, Alabama in fourth place with 59 points, Ole Miss in fifth place with 52 points, Arkansas in sixth place with 33 points and Mississippi State in sixth place with 21 points. This marks the fourth-straight season in which LSU has been the preseason pick to finish in second place in the SEC West standings.
The Tigers have enjoyed tremendous success in recent seasons, including winning four SEC Western Division championships in a five-year span in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. They also finished in second-place in the SEC regular season standings in three of the past five seasons in 2008, 2009 and 2011 as they prepare for the start of the 2013 campaign.
The Tigers are set to report to campus on Tuesday, Aug. 6, with the start of preseason training for the 2013 season set to commence the following day.
They will face Nicholls State in an exhibition game on Friday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. CT before playing host to in-state rival Louisiana Tech in their regular-season opener on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. at the LSU Soccer Stadium in Baton Rouge. The 2013 regular season actually kicks off for the Tigers with a four-game homestand as all matches at the LSU Soccer Stadium feature free admission.
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
Florida 89 (11)
Tennessee 71 (3)
South Carolina 42
Texas A&M 91 (13)
LSU 67 (1)
Ole Miss 52
Mississippi State 21
SEC Champion: Texas A&M (8), Florida (6)