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Lady Eagles picked 8th in Heartland women’s soccer preseason poll

Junior defender Samantha Kuneman is one of many returning experienced players for the Lady Eagles.
Junior defender Samantha Kuneman is one of many returning experienced players for the Lady Eagles.

WACO, Texas (Aug. 4, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian was picked eighth in the preseason Heartland Conference women’s soccer poll, which was released Monday.

OC finished 4-12-2 overall and 2-6-1 in conference play last season, but the Lady Eagles closed strong, winning two of their last three games – against Newman (Kan.) and Texas-Permian Basin – and taking the league’s third-place squad, Lubbock Christian (Texas), to overtime before falling in the season finale. OC will have eight starters and numerous key reserves back from that squad.

But that didn’t seem to make an impression on most of the league’s coaches and sports information directors, who voted in the poll.

Defending conference regular-season and postseason champion St. Edward’s (Texas) received 15 first-place votes and finished atop the poll with 159 points. The other three first-place votes went to Dallas Baptist (Texas), which was second with 146 points.

Lubbock Christian was third with 114 points, followed by St. Mary’s (Texas) with 104, Newman with 82, Texas A&M International with 71, Rogers State with 53, OC with 52 and Texas-Permian Basin with 29.

“Regardless of the position, we don’t really look too much into preseason rankings,” OC coach Randall Robison said. “Typically, they are just a continuation of the conclusion of last season. This poll is shaping up for that as well. We finished strong last year, surprising some teams. We have an opportunity to do the same here. Hopefully, we can continue the success from the end of 2013.

“Ultimately, every team in the poll has a season to confirm or contradict its accuracy. We will certainly work hard all season to finish in a better position than the preseason poll.”