July 23, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The SEC has released its 2013 Preseason Soccer Coaches' Poll and Tennessee was picked to tie third place in the league.
Tennessee, which also garnered three first-place votes, and Kentucky each tallied 71 points in the preseason poll - good for third in the SEC and second in the Eastern Division. They trailed only Florida (89 points, 11 first-place votes) and Texas A&M (91 points, 13 first-place votes). SEC coaches picked the Aggies as the favorite to win the league and the Western Division while Florida was picked to take the Eastern Division.
Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division, though each coach was not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
The 21st season of women's soccer in the SEC season begins Aug. 23, with conference play set to begin Sept. 20. The 2013 SEC Tournament is Nov. 4-10 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala.
Heading into its second season under head coach Brian Pensky, Tennessee returns 17 players from last year's squad, including NSCAA All-American Hannah Wilkinson. In 2012, UT went 14-5-3 and finished third in the SEC with a 9-3-1 conference record, far exceeding preseason expectations after league coaches picked the team to finish 11th. The team made its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, falling in the First Round to Miami (Ohio). UT finished at No. 18 in the final NCAA Women's Soccer RPI and the Lady Vols ranked 25th in the final Soccer America poll of 2012
Tennessee boasted one of the nation's elite defenses in 2012. The team's 0.69 goals-against average set a new program record and the Lady Vols recorded 11 shutouts. UT also produced the longest shutout streak in school history with 533:22 of scoreless defense from Aug. 19 through Sept. 9.
The Lady Vols begin regular-season play on Aug. 23 at home against Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. ET.