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Thread: Cajuns Soccer Looks To Defy The Odds Once More

  1. UL Soccer Cajuns Soccer Looks To Defy The Odds Once More

    LOUISIANA La. - Preseason polls offer a prediction of things to expect, it's not an exact science.

    In fact, seldom do they hold true to form.

    Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns women's soccer program knows all to well that one shouldn't place much stock in one.

    All the Cajuns have done the past two seasons is defy the odds, using the poll as a motivational tool.

    Last season, the Cajuns were picked to finish seventh in the nine-team Sun Belt Conference soccer league. They would end up in fourth place at the end of the season and were mere percentage points from claiming a third-place slot.

    In 2001, the Cajuns were picked to finish dead last and wound up finishing sixth.

    So with the release of the 2003 Sun Belt Conference Soccer Preseason Poll on Wednesday by league officials, its looks as though the 2003 season will be yet another one of defying the odds for head coach Dave Poggi and his squad.

    Louisiana was picked seventh in the poll, which is voted on by the league's head coaches, for the second straight season. The Cajuns received 31 votes.

    "My first reaction was that the coaches in our league have been consistent over the past three years," Poggi said. "Each year we have finished three spots higher than where we were picked in the preseason poll. Maybe it will happen again."

    Denver, last season's regular season and tournament champion, was picked first in the poll. North Texas was a close second, just three points behind the Pioneers. Denver received five first-place votes while UNT garnered four.

    Just eight points separated the third through fifth place picks. Western Kentucky, which returns its entire starting lineup from 2002, was third with 53 votes while South Alabama (three preseason All-Sun Belt picks) was tabbed fourth with 48 votes. Fifth-place selection Middle Tennessee received 45 votes.

    Florida International, Louisiana, Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock rounded out the poll.

    "In all fairness to the other coaches in our league, we did lose our team captain and leading scorer from last season," Poggi said. "That was probably one of the main factors in the where we were placed."

    The Cajuns, who return six starters, must replace their leading scorer from 2002 - Stacy Smith. Smith, who led the team with 10 goals last season, transferred and leaves the Cajuns a big void offensively.

    Louisiana also lost its top defender, assists leader, and captain Sara Vienberg. Vienberg posted a program-record nine assists in 2002.

    The Cajuns do, though, return a starting goalkeeper for the first time in program history. Sophomore goalkeeper Liza Preseault returns in net a year after setting the school record for wins (six) and posting three shutouts.

    "We have a lot of good players on this team," Poggi said. "Some may not have received the recognition that I feel they deserve, but at the end of the season I hope they will."

    The Cajuns will stage a preseason exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. in Cajun Field against Mississippi Valley State, the first of 11 matches at Cajun Field this season. Admission is free of charge to all fans.

    The regular season, which will be the fourth in program history, officially begins on Friday, Aug. 29, in a 5 p.m. match against Jackson State in Baton Rouge at the LSU Tournament.

    The regular season home opener is slated for Sunday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m. against Conference USA-member Southern Mississippi.

    Season passes for all home matches are currently on sale. The pass costs $35. For more information or to purchase a pass please call the Cajundome Ticket Office at (337) 265-2357.


  2. Sunbelt

    2003 Sun Belt Conference Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

    Marilyn Marin, Sr., North Texas
    Mychael Movius, Sr., Denver
    Laura Miguez, Jr., Middle Tennessee

    Melissa Behrent, Sr., Denver
    Rebecca Kahn, So., South Alabama
    Jocelyn Roach, Jr., Western Kentucky

    Elena Esquibel, Jr., UALR
    Melissa Moeschl, Sr., South Alabama
    Jamie Norwood, Sr., Denver
    Melissa Robinson, Jr., Western Kentucky

    Amber Angermeier, Jr., South Alabama

    Player of the Year Marilyn Marin, North Texas

  3. Default

    Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Pol
    1. Denver (5), 77
    2. North Texas (4), 74
    3. Western Kentucky, 53
    4. South Alabama, 48
    5. Middle Tennessee, 45
    6. Florida International, 41
    7. Louisiana, 31
    8. Arkansas State, 19
    9. Arkansas-Little Rock, 17

  4. Sunbelt

    Denver picked to repeat as SBC champs

    NEW ORLEANS The University of Denver women's soccer team is the favorite to repeat as Sun Belt Conference champions in 2003.

    The 2002 champions received five of the nine first-place votes in a poll released Wednesday. League coaches voted on the poll.

    The Pioneers were 17-2-2 a year ago and 8-0 in league play. Denver tallied 77 points, while North Texas is close behind with 73 points. The Mean Green received four first-place votes and 73 points overall.

    The rest of the story

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