BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A league-high three Lee women’s soccer players have been named to the preseason All-Gulf South Conference Team while the Lady Flames were picked to finish second in the …
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A league-high three Lee women’s soccer players have been named to the preseason All-Gulf South Conference Team while the Lady Flames were picked to finish second in the coaches’ poll the league office announced on Thursday.
Senior forward Summer Lanter, the 2016 GSC Co-Player of the Year, lands on the team after leading the Lady Flames offensively with 37 goals over the last three seasons.
“I am happy for Summer. She has led the line for us the past three years and I truly believe her senior year will be her best,” said third year head coach Chris Hennessey. “She is returning with lots of experience and a first-hand knowledge of what to expect this season.”
Goalkeeper Haley Gribler, a Second Team All-GSC selection last season, also received the preseason honor for the Lady Flames. Gribler helped Lee finish first in the GSC last season with a .827 save percentage. The senior posted a 0.57 goals against average, recorded six clean sheets and delivered a 9-3-2 record for the Lady Flames last season.
“Haley was important for us last season. She is vocal and a natural leader at the back,” added Hennessey. “Again, as a senior her experience and leadership will be vital for us to be successful in a tough conference.”
Senior defender McKenzie Bricker also landed a spot on the team after receiving All-GSC Second Team honors a year ago. Bricker not only provides hard-nose defensive on the backend for Hennessey’s squad she has also proved to be a valuable piece in the offensive game plan with seven goals and six assists last season.
“Mac plays the game with such ease. As a defender, she gives us goals and assists that have helped us unlock many games over the years. She is a player who has gotten better each year. Her contribution will be vital for us,” said Hennessey.
As a team Lee was selected second overall, turning in two first place votes from the coaches. The Lady Flames went 14-3-2 overall and 11-1 in conference in 2016 while qualifying for the NCAA National Tournament for the second consecutive season.
“It’s nice to have the respect of the other coaches in the conference. We obviously have a lot of work to do to finish in the top two. In my opinion there several teams that could be in contention this year, so it’s important that we have a good preseason and hit the ground running,” Hennessey noted.
The 2017 Preseason All-GSC Team features 11 players. Lee turned in a league-high three players, followed by North Alabama, Mississippi College, and West Alabama, who each had two selections.
After winning 10 GSC Championship Trophies, the University of West Florida has been selected to do so again this season with 12 first place votes. The Argonauts finished the 2016 season with a 19-5 record and 11-1 in conference, leading them to the top seed in the GSC Tournament, going on to defeat Mississippi College in the conference title match. The Argos went on to win the NCAA Division II South Region and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals. UWF will also enter the 2017 season as the lone nationally ranked team, coming in at No. 8.
The Lady Choctaws were selected third in this year’s preseason poll, tallying 141 points. Mississippi College finished third in the league standings in 2016.
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