The Radford women’s soccer team landed in fourth place on the annual Big South preseason poll, which was released on Thursday afternoon. Furthermore, Jasmine Casarez took third place in the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year voting.
Radford tallied 64 points and was only four points behind Campbell, who was voted third with 68 points. High Point, received two first place votes and 92 points. The returning Big South Conference Tournament champions, Liberty, received eight first place votes and totaled 98 points.
“Every year there is so much parity in women’s soccer in the Big South,” Ben Sohrabi said. “I have a lot of respect for the teams and coaches in this league and as always it will be interesting to see how things go. Preseason rankings are fun but I’m sure at this point all the teams in this conference are just trying to improve each day.”
Liberty’s Jennifer Knoebel was named Preseason Attacking Player of the Year, while High Point’s Alex Hank was tabbed with Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Radford’s Casarez was third in the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year voting with eight points.
Casarez led the 2016 squad with seven goals and 16 points. She recorded two assists and claimed three game-winning goals. The junior recorded a .615 shot on goal percentage and was voted All-Big South Second Team.
The Highlanders first test will be an exhibition match in Harrisonburg, against James Madison beginning at 7 p.m., on August 10, before returning home on August 13 to host Tusculum in their final exhibition match at 7 p.m.
2017 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE PRESEASON WOMEN’S SOCCER POLL
Rank Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Liberty (8) 98
2. High Point (2) 92
3. Campbell 68
4. Radford 64
5. Longwood 62
6. Gardner-Webb 56
7. UNC Asheville 44
8. Charleston Southern 31
9. Winthrop 24
10. Presbyterian 11
PRESEASON ATTACKING PLAYER OF THE YEAR VOTING (TOP 3)
Jennifer Knoebel, Liberty (27 points) – PAPOY
Becca Rolfe, High Point (15 points)
Jasmine Casarez, Radford (8 points)
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR VOTING (TOP 3)
Alex Hank, High Point (24 points) – PDPOY
Sami Santos, Liberty (11 points)
Sydney Wallace, Longwood (9 points)
— RU Athletics