JONESBORO, Ark. (8/8/22) – The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2022 preseason accolades Monday with Arkansas State women’s soccer picked to finish second in the league’s west division, while sophomore forward Aliyah Williamson was named to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
Coming off a second consecutive Sun Belt Conference regular season title, A-State garnered two first place votes and 68 points to rank second in the west division. South Alabama led the west division poll with 12 first place votes and 96 points. Southern Miss (68), ULM (57), Texas State (54), Louisiana (27) and Troy (22) round out the west division poll. Old Dominion topped the east division poll with 94 points and 10 first place votes with James Madison (74), Georgia State (72), Georgia Southern (62), Coastal Carolina (39), Marshall (26) and Appalachian State (25) following.
Williams, the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, was the leading goal scorer among all true freshmen in the league. She finished with six goals and an assist for 13 points in 10 league fixtures with three of her six goals winning the contest. She finished the season with seven total goals, tied for the team lead, as the Red Wolves capped a third-straight season with 10 or more wins.
A-State returns six starters and 20 letterwinners from the squad that finished last season 10-6-2, 7-2-1 in league play. The Red Wolves play an exhibition game against Tulsa Monday afternoon before a second exhibition tune-up against UT Martin Saturday at the A-State Soccer Complex. Head Coach Brian Dooley, in his 26th season as a head coach, enters the season opener one win shy of 250 for his career. The Red Wolves open the season at home on August. 18 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the A-State Soccer Complex.
Fans can keep up with the Arkansas State women’s soccer team by following the squad on Twitter (@AStateSoccer), Facebook (/AStateSoccer) and Instagram (@astatesoccer).
2022 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year:
Gracie Wilson, South Alabama (Sr., MF, Conyers, Ga.)
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year:
Gabrielle Gayle, South Alabama (Sr., D, Spanish Town, Jamaica)
Preseason All-Sun Belt Team
F – Elis Nemtsov, Georgia Southern (R-So., Bradford, Ontario)
F – Morgan Cross, South Alabama (Sr., Dunfermline, Scotland)
F – Brooklynn Fugel, Georgia State (So., Dacula, Ga.)
F – Aliyah Williamson, Arkansas State (So., Millington, Tenn.)
MF – Gracie Wilson, South Alabama (Sr., Conyers, Ga.)
MF – Karleen Bedre, Louisiana (Sr., Norco, Calif.)
MF – Ilana Izquierdo, Southern Miss (So., Cali, Colombia)
D – Gabrielle Gayle, South Alabama (Sr., Spanish Town, Jamaica)
D – Ruthny Mathurin, Louisiana (So., Gressier, Haiti)
D – Sade Heinrichs, Georgia Southern (Jr., Monchengladbach, Germany)
D – Eva Diez Lois, Georgia State (Sr., Santander, Spain)
GK – Kasey Perry, Old Dominion (Gr., Dayton, Ohio)
* Ties were not broken
2022 Sun Belt Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
Old Dominion – 94 (10)
James Madison – 74 (1)
Georgia State – 72 (3)
Georgia Southern – 62
Coastal Carolina – 39
Marshall – 26
App State – 25
South Alabama – 96 (12)
Arkansas State – 68 (2)
Southern Miss – 68
ULM – 57
Texas State – 54
Louisiana – 27
Troy – 22
Parentheses indicate first-place votes.
Williamson Named Preseason All-Conference; Red Wolves Picked Second in West Division. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council