The Ladyjacks are coming off a season in which they posted an unblemished 8-0-0 conference record and finished 17-4-0 overall, which set a school record for wins in a single season. Stephen F. Austin returns nine starters to a team that won its seventh conference title and made its third NCAA postseason appearance. SFA received 11 first-place votes from both the coaches SIDs to earn a total of 143 points in each poll. Last season, the Ladyjacks led the league in scoring offense (2.48), goals-against average (0.624) and shutout percentage (.619). Returning for the Ladyjacks this season is senior goalkeeper Lacey Lee, who ranked second in the nation in goals-against average (0.42) and fourth in save percentage (.887) last season.
Lamar, which reached last season’s championship match against the Ladyjacks, was picked second by both the coaches and SIDs and received two first-place votes from the coaches and one from the SIDs. The Lady Cardinals finished 11-9-1 last season with a 6-2-0 record in conference play to finish second. Lamar received 127 total points from the coaches and 130 from SIDs. Second-year coach Orlando Cervantes welcomes back a talented team that returns nine starters, including junior forward Kimmy Albeno and midfielder Kristin Bos.
Oral Roberts, which finished fourth last season with a 5-2-1 conference mark and a 12-7-2 overall record, was tabbed third by the coaches and SIDs. The Golden Eagles received 118 points from the coaches and 116 points from the SIDs, including the final SID first-place nod. Under the direction of first-year coach Roger Bush, who spent the previous four seasons as an assistant at ORU, the Golden Eagles bring back seven starters, including Jennifer Abernathy.
Coming in eighth in both polls was Northwestern State. The Lady Demons return 10 starters from a team that finished eighth a year ago with a 1-5-1 conference record. The Lady Demons will be led by junior defender Jackie Strug, who recorded three goals while anchoring the Northwestern defense which posted five shutouts last year.
The 2013 Southland soccer season begins Aug. 23 with conference play beginning Sept. 20. The conference tournament will be held Nov. 7-10 at Cowgirl Field on the campus of McNeese State University in Lake Charles.