Heightened expectations surrounding the Northwestern State soccer team and its recent success have left a lasting impact on Southland Conference pundits.
The Lady Demons were tied for second place in the Jostens® SLC preseason poll with 55 points, including two first-place votes. Incarnate Word tied NSU for the second spot.
Defending SLC Tournament champion Southeastern Louisiana stands atop the poll with 70 points and 10 first-place votes.
NSU capped a remarkable 2020 season tied for second in conference standings for the second straight season, opening league play on a four-match win streak.
The Lady Demons return all but one starter, including the entirety of its back line from 2020, which toppled a number of program records in a COVID-19 shortened season.
Six Lady Demons were selected to the SLC preseason all-conference team announced Monday. The defense was represented by goalkeeper Acelya Aydogmus and defenders Hallie Field, Nicole Henry and Natalee Henry. The offense boasted midfielder Kalee Williams and forward Olivia Draguicevich.
NSU opens the coach Stuart Gore era with an exhibition match at Little Rock on Saturday at 3 p.m. Conference play opens on Sept. 6 against Southeastern Louisiana.
Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services
2021 Southland Preseason Poll
|School (First-place votes)||Total|
|1. Southeastern (10)||70|
|t-2. UIW (2)||55|
|t-2. Northwestern State (2)||55|
|5. Texas A&M- Corpus Christi||38|
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