The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's soccer team was chosen to repeat as champions in theOhio Valley Conference this season based on a poll of head coaches and sports information personnel.
The Cougars finished with 10 first-place votes and 187 points, followed by Southeast Missouri (184), UT Martin (150), and Jacksonville State (141).
"Every year is its own journey with a new group," said head coach Derek Burton. "While positive views of the team are nice, we know that a preseason poll is just that — a poll, based mostly on last season."
SIUE claimed the 2014 OVC regular season and tournament championships, earning the program's first-ever NCAA Division I tournament berth after being selected third in last year's poll.
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"We also know that there is a lot to be learned and worked on before we get too far ahead of ourselves," said Burton. "That's all that this group is focused on: getting better every day and coming together as a team for this season to see what we can do."
The Cougars open the season Saturday with an exhibition against Loyola at Korte Stadium beginning at 7 p.m.
2015 OVC Women’s Soccer Poll
(As selected by the OVC women's soccer head coaches and sports information directors)
1. SIUE (10 first-place votes) - 187
2. Southeast Missouri (Seven first-place votes) - 184
3. UT Martin (Four first-place votes) - 150
4. Jacksonville State (One first-place vote) - 141
5. Murray State - 138
6. Morehead State - 121
7. Belmont - 99
9. Eastern Kentucky - 57
10. Tennessee Tech - 38
11. Eastern Illinois - 32