Women’s soccer predicted to finish in top five

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Longwood women’s soccer has consistently been a presence near the top of the Big South standings since joining the league 10 seasons ago. Heading into 2022, Big South coaches expect the Lancers to be in the mix of the top four again.

As the team enters its 29th season under program founder and head coach Todd Dyer, the Lancers were picked to finish fourth in the Big South Conference preseason coach’s poll announced on Monday by the conference office.

The Lancers sport a 55-27-17 record in Big South play since 2012, and the team received one second, one third, seven fourth and one fifth-place vote in the preseason poll for a total of 72 points. The team trailed only first-place Campbell, second-place High Point and third-place Radford. Campbell drew seven first-place votes while High Point garnered the other three. Longwood sits seven points behind third-place Radford.

EXCEEDING PRESEASON RANKINGS

For Longwood, it marks the seventh time the team has been predicted to finish in the Big South’s top four since joining the league in 2012. The team has exceeded its preseason prediction six times and finished among the league’s top four six times — including a third-place Big South regular-season finish in 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2021.

The team returns 20 players from last season’s squad that went 6-2-2 in Big South play. Brooke Bonner, who earned a spot on the Big South All-Freshman Team as a center back, returns to anchor a defense that is consistently among the top units in the Big South. Up top, Kiersten Yuhas and Alex Dinger provide potent offensive threats, with the duo combining to score five goals and add seven assists a season ago. Veteran midfielder Catharine Forst also returns after serving as a Swiss Army Knife last season, as the senior started all 20 matches while totaling 1,666 minutes.

The Lancers begin the season with a pair of exhibition matches before opening the regular season with a four-match homestand, beginning on August 18 against the University of Richmond.

2022 BIG SOUTH WOMEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL

1. Campbell (97 points, 7 first-place votes)

2. High Point (90 points, 3 first-place votes)

3. Radford (79 points)

4. Longwood (72)

5. Gardner-Webb (54)

6. Charleston Southern (53)

7. UNC Asheville (40)

8. Winthrop (33)

9. USC Upstate (20)

10. Presbyterian (12)