Aug. 7, 2001
Chicago - Marquette has been chosen to repeat as the Conference USA regular season women's soccer champion in a vote of the league's head coaches. Saint Louis goalkeeper MEGHANN BURKE, last season's Defensive Player of the Year, has been selected as the 2001 preseason Player of the Year.
The Golden Eagles won last year's regular season title with an unbeaten 10-0-1 mark and represented C-USA in the NCAA Championship for the second year in a row, winning its first round match for the second straight season. Marquette welcomes back eight starters this fall, including two preseason all-conference selections in midfielder KRISTEN JENSEN and forward KATE GORDON (17 goals last season).
Saint Louis was selected second. Burke, the lone goalkeeper on the preseason all-league team, led Conference USA in goals against average (0.72) and shutouts (10) last season. She is joined by forward/midfielder JENNY KEHL in receiving preseason all-league honors.
Cincinnati and Charlotte, which finished third and fourth last season, respectively, have been chosen to flip spots this fall, with the 49ers edging out the Bearcats. Charlotte is represented on the preseason all-league squad by sophomore forward JILL HAYES, while senior forward ANN THOMAS is listed for Cincinnati. Houston was picked fifth, just ahead of newcomers TCU and East Carolina, each making their C-USA debut this fall. Houston senior midfielder KARA BULLINGER and TCU junior forward SHERRY DICK are both listed on the preseason all-league team.
Rounding out the preseason honorees are South Florida junior midfielder TIA OPLIGER, Southern Miss junior forward TRICIA WILES, Tulane junior forward/midfielder COLLEEN LAKE and UAB senior forward DENISE PETERS.
The 2001 season gets underway on Friday, August 31. The top eight regular season finishers in conference play will participate in the Conference USA Tournament, Nov. 7-10 in Milwaukee, Wis.
2001 C-USA PRESEASON AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR Meghann Burke, Jr., GK, Saint Louis
ALL-CONFERENCE Kara Bullinger, Sr., MF, Houston Meghann Burke, Jr., GK, Saint Louis Sherry Dick, Jr., F, TCU Kate Gordon, Jr., F, Marquette Jill Hayes, So., F, Charlotte Kristen Jensen, So., MF, Marquette Jenny Kehl, Jr., MF/F, Saint Louis Colleen Lake, Jr., MF/F, Tulane Tia Opliger, Jr., MF, South Florida Denise Peters, Sr., F, UAB Ann Thomas, Sr., F, Cincinnati Tricia Wiles, Jr., F, Southern Miss
2001 C-USA PRESEASON POLL (as selected by C-USA coaches) 1. Marquette 2. Saint Louis 3. Charlotte 4. Cincinnati 5. Houston 6. TCU 7. East Carolina 8. South Florida 9. Tulane 10. UAB 11. Memphis 12. Southern Miss 13. DePaul 14. Louisville
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