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Monday, August 15, 2005
Aug. 15, 2005
Macon, Ga. - Florida Atlantic received nine of 11 first place votes on their way to topping the 2005 Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll.
The Owls check in as a decided favorite after tallying 118 points in the poll of league coaches, 24 points more than second place Gardner-Webb. FAU is also predicted to capture the league's tournament championship.
The Lady Bisons were selected to finish 11th.
Head coach Brian Dooley returns nine starters from last year's squad that went 11-4-3 and finished third in the conference standings. Among the players back are reigning Freshman of the Year Susanna Lehtinen as well as the high-scoring all-conference tandem of Denise Brolly and Katri Nokso-Koivisto. The Owls only regular season title came in the 2003 season.
Gardner-Webb is slotted second behind the strength of the league's top offensive producer Leanna Woodworth who led the A-Sun in goals, assists and points last year. Defending champion Campbell stands third with 90 points while newcomer and 2003 Division II national champion Kennesaw State is fourth. Jacksonville and Stetson round out the top-six. Only the league's top six teams qualify for the 2005 A-Sun Championship hosted by Gardner-Webb on November 3-5.
The 11-member league headquartered in Macon, Ga., consists of Belmont, Campbell, ETSU, Florida Atlantic, Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida and Stetson.