BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –
The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced the 2015 Preseason All-SWAC women's soccer teams and predicted order of finish on Monday, as voted on by the league coaches and sport information directors.
Alabama State drew the most selections of any conference member with six players, Jackson State had five while Prairie View A&M had four players selected to the teams.
In its second year with the SWAC, Howard is predicted to finish first in the conference with 154 points. Jackson State was voted second with 130 tallies, followed by ASU with 129 points.
"It's always great to have our players recognized for their play," said Alabama State women's soccer coach Jodie Smith
"Now, it's time for them to live up to those expectations and be the leaders on the field that we need them to be. Being picked third is a good starting point! But, we have high expectations for ourselves and are aiming for a higher finish at the end of the season."
For the second consecutive season, Aaliyah Lewis
claimed Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Last season, Lewis finished the top of the conference in seven different categories including points (45), goals per game (.84) and assists (11) - earning her the Offensive Player of the Year title.
She remains ASU's all-time scorer in a season (18) – a honor she received as a freshman in 2013 – and holds the school record for most total points in a season (45).
Lewis was also named to the Preseason All-SWAC First Team.
"I'm really pleased for Aaliyah," Smith said. "It definitely shows the impact she has had on the league."
Five other Lady Hornets joined her with preseason awards including senior Shelbi Vienna-Hallam
, who also made First Team as a midfielder.
Vienna-Hallam was fifth in the conference in points (25), tied for eighth in goals (seven) and shared a co-lead withAaliyah Lewis
for the most assists in the SWAC with 11.
Alabama State picked up four Second Team selections including Aaliyah Lewis
' twin sister Ariela Lewis
(forward), Kaedi Walther
(midfielder) and Emily Ziolkowski
Ar. Lewis returns to the field after missing all, but one match, in 2014. She tallied 15 goals and nine assists during her last full season of action in 2013.
Edwards recorded eight goals and three assists last season, Walther added four points including the game-winner in a SWAC Tournament First Round victory against Mississippi Valley State and Ziolkowski was a pivotal piece of the defense in her 19 starts.
To see the full article, go to http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=210259892