JONESBORO, Ark. (8/9/17) – Arkansas State junior goalkeeper Kelsey Ponder has been named to the 2017 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference team the league office announced Wednesday afternoon.
Ponder enjoyed a historic season for the Red Wolves in 2016 and became the seventh player in school history to earn all-conference status when was named to the league's second-team at the end of the season. She broke the school record for single season saves at 112 and finished the year ranked 15th in the nation in total saves.
The St. Louis, Mo., native collected a 6.59 saves per game average, the second highest in program history, and the 12th best in all of NCAA Division I. She had a career-high 15 saves against Murray State on Sept. 4, a mark that is tied for the second most in school history and her six wins on the year are tied for the second most by a goalkeeper in a single season in school history.
In addition to her success on the field, Ponder was named to the Athletic Director's Honor roll and she is currently pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences.
The Sun Belt also released to the 2017 Preseason Coaches' Poll on Wednesday where A-State was picked to finish 10th in the league after receiving 36 points.
2017 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
* Arola Aparicio (Little Rock, Junior, Forward)
* Daniella Famili (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Forward)
Chardé Hannah (South Alabama, Senior, Forward)
* Rio Hardy (South Alabama, Senior, Forward)
** Quin Wilkes (Little Rock, Senior, Midfielder)
* Sarah Price (Georgia Southern, Senior, Midfielder)
** Danielle Henley (South Alabama, Senior, Midfielder)
** Hannah Godfrey (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
Steffi Hardy (South Alabama, Senior, Defender)
** Haley Roberson (Troy, Senior, Defender)
** Kelsey Ponder (Arkansas State, Junior, Goalkeeper)
* - denotes 2016 First-Team All-Conference | ** denotes 2016 Second-Team All-Conference
2017 Sun Belt Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Daniella Famili (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Forward)
2017 Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Hannah Godfrey (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
2017 Sun Belt Women's Soccer Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. South Alabama (3) - 109 pts
2. Coastal Carolina (4) - 108 pts
3. Little Rock (3) - 106 pts
4. Appalachian State - 84 pts
5. Louisiana (1) - 60 pts
5. Troy - 60 pts
7. Texas State - 52 pts
8. ULM - 44 pts
9. Georgia State - 39 pts
10. Arkansas State - 36 pts
11. Georgia Southern - 28 pts