W. SOCCER

Defender Shannon Walisch returns for her junior season after leading the team in minutes last year.
Defender Shannon Walisch returns for her junior season after leading the team in minutes last year.

Tampa Women's Soccer Garners No. 8 Preseason Ranking

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the seventh time in eight years, the University of Tampa women’s soccer team has been mentioned in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll. The Spartans will begin the 2012 campaign at No. 8.

Tampa leads a group of four Sunshine State Conference schools who are in the top-25, including Lynn (20), Saint Leo (23) and Rollins (24).

Head coach Gerry Lucey’s program is coming off a 16-6-2 season where his Spartans won the Sunshine State Conference tournament and advanced to the national quarterfinals. The NCAA South Region champions finished the 2011 campaign at No. 8 in the final rankings.

UT welcomes back 12 letterwinners, including five starters from 2011. First-team all-region performers Gabby Russo and Shannon Walisch headline the Spartan frontline as Lauren Moore, Courtney Peffley and Candice Shields are also back after starting last season.

Lucey, now in his sixth season at the helm of the Spartans, is the program’s all-time winningest coach and has led UT to four NCAA tournaments, three SSC tournament titles and the 2007 NCAA national championship.

The first rankings of the 2012 regular season will be released September 4.

The NSCAA/Continental Tire College Rankings are an indicator of week-to-week status of qualified programs. More information about the NSCAA College Rankings can be found at www.nscaa.com/rankings/college.

Click here for the complete preseason poll

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