CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The High Point University women’s soccer team has been selected to repeat as Big South champions, the conference office announced Monday (Aug. 6).
The Panthers, who tied for first in the regular season and won the tournament conference crown in 2017, picked up seven first-place votes in the coaches preseason poll to be selected as the favorites.
“It’s very flattering for our program to be nominated as the preseason favorite,” first-year HPU head coach Brandi Fontaine said. “We appreciate the respect that other coaches are showing our program. Every season brings a new challenge, but we have a talented and hardworking group of players who we believe will do great things.”
High Point earned a total of 112 points in the poll to be named the favorite. Longwood garnered one first-place vote and 106 points to be selected second. Campbell was third with one first-place vote and 102 points, while Radford picked up the last two first-place votes and 92 points for fourth. Charleston Southern (69), Gardner-Webb (67), Winthrop (52), USC Upstate (48), UNC Asheville (36), Presbyterian (27) and Hampton (15) rounded out the preseason poll.
HPU has been voted the preseason favorite for the first time since 2011 and second time overall. Last season, High Point went 13-8-1 overall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers, who return 17 letterwinners and three starters, won the Big South Championship for the second time in four seasons in 2017.
The Panthers open up the season with an exhibition game at the College of Charleston on Saturday (Aug. 11) at 6 p.m. in Charleston, S.C.
HPU’s first regular season contest is scheduled for Aug. 17 at Vert Stadium against Appalachian State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.