IRVING, Texas – For the first time ever, the Oklahoma State women's soccer team is ranked the preseason No. 1 team according to the Big 12 preseason soccer poll.
Coaches from around the conference voted on the poll and OSU received six of the possible nine first place votes and a total of 62 points.
"Being picked first in the conference by the coaches is a great compliment to our team," head coach Colin Carmichael said. "The competition this year should be as fierce as ever, and we are looking forward to the season ahead."
Oklahoma came in sixth in this year's preseason poll with a total of 33 points while Texas A&M came in second on the poll with three first place votes and 59 overall points.
Oklahoma State is coming off the best season in program history as the Cowgirls went 20-4-2 in 2010. The squad also won its third-straight conference championship last season and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship before falling to eventual national champion Notre Dame.
This year the Cowgirls return 10 starters, including six All-Big 12 Conference performers. All-Americans Melinda Mercado and AD Franch return along with five of the Cowgirls top six goal scorers from a year ago, led by senior Krista Lopez and her 19 career goals.
OSU opens the regular season with a non-conference showdown against TCU in Stillwater on Aug. 19 while the Sooners open the season the same day at 7 p.m. against the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
2011 Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll:
1. Oklahoma State (6) 62
2. Texas A&M (3) 59
3. Missouri 44
4. Texas 43
5. Texas Tech 36
6. Oklahoma 33
7T. Baylor 16
7T. Kansas 16
9. Iowa State 15