FRISCO, Texas - The McNeese Cowgirl soccer has been tabbed for a fourth place finish in the 2021 Southland Conference spring season preseason poll, the league office announced on Thursday.
The poll was voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors.
The Cowgirls are coming off an 11-win season in 2019, the last time they took the field, and advanced to the semifinals of the league postseason tournament, falling in overtime. The 2020 fall season was pushed back to this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lamar, the 2019 and reigning conference tournament champion, has been picked to repeat after earning 20 of 24 first place votes. 2018 SLC champs, ACU, follows with three first place votes, and Northwestern State earned a third place prediction with one vote. McNeese and UIW round out the top five.
The Pokes lost four seniors in 2019, SLC standout midfielder Rachel Palet, defenders Alexis Rodriguez, Rebecca Adcock, and Juna Suppan, but returns a good nucleus of the team with seven seniors.
Head coach Drew Fitzgerald will be entering his fifth season at the helm and became the first soccer coach in program history to sign a multi-year contract after leading the Cowgirls to an 11-9 record in 2019. Fitzgerald will enter the season with 45 victories under his belt, averaging 11 wins per season.
During the offseason, the Cowgirls signed eight new players, four of those being transfers.
McNeese will open the season on February 4 when it hosts Rice at 4 p.m. at Cowgirl Field.
2021 Southland Conference Soccer Preseason Poll