Florida soccer team picked to win SEC
The SEC coaches believe Florida is the league favorite again this season.
The league coaches picked the Gators to win the SEC in the SEC coaches preseason poll. Florida is the defending SEC champion, winning their 11th overall and fifth consecutive title with a 9-1-1 record in 2010.
In the preseason voting for the SEC East title, Florida led with 11 first-place votes and 66 points. South Carolina was second with 51 points, followed by Georgia (48), Tennessee (35), Vanderbilt (26) and Kentucky (20).
In the West, Auburn was first with 62 total points (seven first-place votes). LSU was picked to finish second in the West with its 60 points, followed by Mississippi (39), Alabama (37), Arkansas (30) and Mississippi State (18).
Florida returns eight starters from the 2010 team that reached the NCAA Second Round. The Gators return five who have earned All-SEC honors during their careers - seniors Tahnai Annis (2010 All-SEC second team), Lindsay Thompson (2009 All-SEC second team), juniors Erika Tymrak (2010 All-SEC first team), Kathryn Williamson (2010 SEC first team/SEC Defensive Player of Year) and sophomore Taylor Travis (2010 All-SEC second team/SEC Freshman of the Year).
The Gators are ranked No. 9 in the 2011 NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason poll.
The soccer team will be the first Florida team to compete this season when the Gators open with four consecutive road matches, beginning Aug. 19 at Miami, the at Florida International on Aug. 21. The Gators travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic where the Gators will play No. 11 Texas A&M on Aug. 26 and No. 16 UCLA on Aug. 28.
The home season begins Sept. 2 against Texas Tech, at 7 p.m.