COLLEGE STATION -- The defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M soccer team was once again picked to capture the 2007 Big 12 title for the fourth consecutive season in a preseason vote of head coaches, the league office announced Monday.
The Aggies received six of 11 first place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players) and totaled 95 points. Texas, chosen second, received two first place votes and 91 points while Colorado came in third with 81 points and two first place votes.
The remainder of the poll consisted of Oklahoma State in fourth place with one first place vote followed by Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Baylor, Texas Tech and Iowa State.
Four Aggies were also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team, sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Arnold, senior defender Paige Carmichael, senior midfielder Amy Berend and senior forward Ashlee Pistorius.
“It is very exciting to see four of our great players being named to the preseason all conference team and to see that Big 12 coaches have again selected us as the top team in the league,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “I am personally very flattered that we’ve received this praise and know that our players and coaches will work extra hard to continue to earn that level of play throughout the 2007 season.”
Arnold posted eight shutouts and a 0.90 goals against average for the Aggies in the 2006 season, earning her Soccer Buzz Freshmen All-America first team, All-Big 12 second team and All-Big 12 Newcomer team honors. The Centennial, Colorado native was also listed on the Soccer Buzz All-Central Region second team and Top Drawer Soccer Women’s College All-Rookie first team.
Carmichael was a mainstay in the Aggies’ ‘06 lineup as a defensive midfielder. The Glendale, Arizona native was named to the All-Big 12 first team and All-Big 12 Tournament team and was listed as a member of the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz All-Central Region first teams. Carmichael, known for her mentally tough attitude, also earned National Strength and Conditioning Association All-America accolades.
Berend tallied a career-high four goals and dished out five assists in ’06 earning her All-Big 12 and Soccer Buzz All-Central Region first team honors. The Highland Village, Texas native was also named to the NSCAA/adidas All-Central Region second team and Soccer Buzz All-America fourth team.
Pistorius led the scoring attack for the Aggies last season collecting 15 goals while chipping in five assists. The second team All-American forward was also a member of the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz All-Central Region first teams as well as garnering All-Big 12 first team and All-Big 12 Tournament team honors.
Rounding out the Preseason All-Big team are defenders Stephanie Logterman (Texas) and Kasey Moore (Texas), midfielders Yolanda Odenyo (Oklahoma State) and Caitlin Kennedy (Texas), and forwards Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Aysha Jamani (Nebraska) and Kelsey Carpenter (Texas).
The Aggies will host the Maroon vs. White scrimmage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium and will kick-off the 2007 regular season at home against Dartmouth on Friday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.