JONESBORO, Ark. (8/18/14) – The Arkansas State’s women’s soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll selected by the Sun Belt Conference coaches, the league office announced Monday morning. Forward Loren Mitchell and midfielder Samhia Simao were picked as SBC Preseason All-Conference selections.
Coming off a 10-7-3 campaign, A-State returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners in hopes of improving upon the best run in program history over the previous two seasons. Head coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge added 10 newcomers to the roster in the offseason, eight of which are true freshman.
Mitchell, a 2013 SBC First-Team All-Conference and SBC All-Tournament team selection, was the Red Wolves’ leading scorer a season ago. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native set a school record in points (28), tied a school record with 12 goals (five of which were game winning goals which also tied a school record), also led the team in shots and shots on goal.
In terms of career rankings, the junior is tied for first in career game-winning goals (6), second in career points (45), third in goals (19) and multiple goal games (3) and sixth in shots on goal (49).
Simao appeared in 15 matches and finished second on the team with six goals. Her 43 shots were the third most on the team and her 1.07 points per game were the seventh most in the league. The Belo Horizonte, Brazil native was second on the team with 15 points and was a key piece to A-State’s march to the semifinals of the SBC Tournament.
A-State kicks off the 2014 season with a road game at Murray State Aug. 22 followed by its home opener against Tulsa Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. at the A-State Soccer Complex, located off the Marion Berry Parkway on Red Wolf Trail adjacent to the A-State Tennis Complex and the intramural fields.
Live video streaming for all 10 of the Red Wolves’ home matches can be seen in the StateZone with a paid subscription. For in-game updates throughout the matches follow the @AStateGameDay twitter account and for all things A-State soccer follow the team on Twitter (@AStateSoccer) and Facebook (Arkansas State University Soccer).
SBC Preseason All-Conference Team
*Loren Mitchell (Arkansas State, Junior, Forward)
*Ashley Nagy (Georgia State, Junior, Forward)
**Annika Schmidt (UL Lafayette, Sophomore, Forward)
**Lynsey Curry (Texas State, Junior, Forward)
*Yazmin Montoya (UL Lafayette, Sophomore, Midfielder)
Samhia Simao (Arkansas State, Senior, Midfielder)
Monique Autmon (South Alabama, Sophomore, Midfielder)
*Grace Howell-Harries (UL Lafayette, Senior, Defender)
Nini Rabsatt-Smith (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
Brenna Smith (Texas State, Senior, Defender)
Brie Haynes (Georgia State, Sophomore, Goalkeeper)
* - denotes 2013 First-Team All-Conference | ** - denotes 2013 Second-Team All-Conference
SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Ashley Nagy (Georgia State, Junior, Forward)
SBC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Grace Howell-Harries (UL Lafayette, Senior, Defender)
2014 Sun Belt Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. South Alabama (9) - 98pts
2. UL Lafayette (1) - 81pts
3. Georgia State - 73pts
4. Texas State - 67pts
5. Appalachian State - 59pts
6. Arkansas State - 54pts
7. Troy - 46pts
8. Georgia Southern - 30pts
9. UALR - 26pts
10. UL Monroe - 16pts