Florida Tech Women Picked to Finish Fifth in SSC Preseason Polls

ORLANDO, Fla. (Women’s Soccer) – The 2007 women’s soccer preseason polls have been released by the Sunshine State Conference and the Florida Tech Panthers
were picked to finish fifth while the University of Tampa was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the title. Saint Leo and Nova Southeastern were
chosen to finish second and third respectively.   Despite the preseason polls, this year the Florida Tech Panthers are looking to improve on their
strong finish to the 2006 season, according to head coach Fidgi Haig.   “It keeps getting better and better every year as we move forward,” Haig said.
“The future looks bright and exciting.”   Haig is excited about the future of this team because it is full of young, talented players. Five freshmen
gained valuable experience last year as starters: Melissa Pyles, Teresa Brantley, Rachel Devlin, Therese Svensson and Jennifer Gillette. They will provide
leadership as sophomores this season according to Haig.   Those five, as well as the other returners, helped the team in a double overtime standoff
against the University of Tampa last year. They played 120 minutes in a 1-1 tie before Tampa finally took the match on the team’s eventual run to the NCAA
Final Four.   “I couldn’t ask for any more from those players,” Haig said. “They performed great.”   Expectations are high this year with the
addition of 14 talented newcomers from far and wide. Haig says the new international athletes – Paula Lillsjo and Amanda Hjalmarsson from Hoganas, Sweden,
Matilda Östergaard from Goteborg, Sweden and Renne Morgan from Portmore, Jamaica – teamed with many local players who excelled on the club level in high
school should provide an extra boost to the team this year.   “I’m excited about the group as a whole,” Haig said.   When asked who in particular
Haig was excited about on the team, he tried to pick a few but went on to name every player.   “The energy is high. Motivation is high. Returners are
excited. Newcomers are hungry,” Haig said.   The Panthers look to parlay that emotion into another great season. They hope to top the Sunshine State
Conference, but Haig won’t let the big goal intimidate his team.   “We plan to take it one step at a time, deal with one success at a time, and at the
end we’ll be satisfied,” Haig said.   2007 SSC Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Place -Team, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 – Tampa, 21 (15)
2 – Saint Leo, 50 (2)
3 – Nova Southeastern 54
4 – Rollins, 68 (1)
5 – Florida Tech, 104
6 – Lynn, 110
7 – Barry, 113
8 – Florida Southern, 128
9 – Eckerd, 162

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