Three @MemphisWSoccer Players Selected to Preseason All-Conference Team
Aug. 18, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Memphis women's soccer team had three players named to the Preseason All-American Athletic Conference Team, announced Monday. Senior midfielder Kylie Davis, junior defender Diamond Simpson and sophomore forward Valerie Sanderson were named to the 11-player squad. In addition, the Lady Tigers were picked third in the preseason poll of the league coaches.
"We always set high expectations with this program and you try to be as realistic as you can, but our goal is always to win a conference championship and go to the NCAA Tournament," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "The players that were chosen are all deserving of this honor and I'm obviously biased, but I feel there could even be more on there. This is a great league and it's filled with great players and because of that our players should be honored to get this recognition."
Memphis led all schools with three selections to the Preseason All-American Athletic Conference Team. Simpson was chosen as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after a second team all-conference selection following the 2013 season.
Davis is set for her senior season and her third as captain of the squad. A two-time first team all-conference selection, Davis is seen as the key to the midfield for the Lady Tigers. Davis has 50 starts in 56 career games with the U of M scoring seven goals and 15 assists.
Simpson begins year three in the important role of center-back for the Lady Tigers defense. Over her previous two seasons, Simpson has helped Memphis to 14 shutouts in 40 starts. Simpson found the back of the net three times last season and has four career goals.
Sanderson had an outstanding freshman campaign, leading the conference in goals scored and second in points. With 17 goals scored and three assists for 37 points, Sanderson set program records for goals, points and game-winning goals (5).
Memphis was selected to finish third in the preseason poll, one point behind second pick Connecticut. UCF was the preseason pick to win the league, garnering nine first place votes.
"We don't worry about the preseason poll because everybody wants to finish first," Monaghan said. "Being picked third means we are well respected around this league and that is much appreciated, but preseason rankings mean nothing at the end of the day. We are going to focus on our team and try to have the best season possible and see what happens at the end."
The Lady Tigers open the 2014 season at Alabama on Sunday with a 6 p.m. (CT) kickoff. The home opener is Tuesday, August 26, at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb.