Clayton State picked tied for eighth in Peach Belt Conference preseason women’s soccer poll
2011 Peach Belt Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
MORROW, Ga. – August 22, 2011 – The Peach Belt Conference released its 2011 preseason poll for women's soccer on Monday, and the Clayton State Lakers were picked to finish tied for eighth. The poll was voted on by the Peach Belt Conference women's head soccer coaches.
The Lakers, under who will be under the direction of new head coach Gareth O'Sullivan, earned 36 points total to land tied for eighth with Flagler. Defending PBC co-champion Armstrong Atlantic was selected as the preseason favorite with 95 points and five first-place votes, edging out six-time defending PBC champion Columbus State, which had 93 points and four first-place votes.
Ranked behind Armstrong Atlantic and Columbus State was North Georgia (78), UNC Pembroke (76), Lander (56), Georgia College (55) and Montevallo (49). USC Aiken (17) and Georgia Southwestern (14) round out the preseason PBC women's soccer poll.
O'Sullivan, who previously was head coach at both West Georgia and Christian Brothers, returns five starters from last season's Clayton State squad that finished 6-12 overall and 3-7 in the Peach Belt. The most notable returning starter is junior All-PBC forward Natalia Valentine, plus senior defender Jennifer Dreasler and junior defender Dior McGruder.
In addition, O'Sullivan has laid the foundation for the future with a stellar recruiting class of 12 newcomers, paced by West Georgia transfer Angela Jolly.
Clayton State opens the 2011 season on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. with a showdown at former Peach Belt Conference rival Kennesaw State.