COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies were selected No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Preseason Ranking, the organization announced Tuesday evening.
Texas A&M polled second among SEC schools and is one of five league teams in the preseason Top 25. The Aggies were joined by Tennessee (No. 10), South Carolina (No. 15), Vanderbilt (No. 17) and LSU (No. 24). The Maroon & White were the top-ranked team from the Lone Star State, placing ahead of No. 15 Baylor, No. 19 Texas and No. 22 Texas Tech.
Florida State garnered the top spot, followed by North Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and USC. The rest of the Top 10 included Penn State, Georgetown, Duke, Virginia and Tennessee.
The Aggies face three of the teams featured in the preseason poll, all on the road. The Maroon & White open the season at No. 13 Santa Clara on Aug. 22. In SEC action, the they travel for a matches against No. 24 LSU on Sept. 29 and No. 17 Vanderbilt on Oct. 24.
Texas A&M returns 16 letterwinners from the 2018 campaign, including nine players who started at least 50 percent of last season's 23 matches. The returnees account for 40 of the Aggies' 49 goals from last season. The Maroon & White welcome back All-American Ally Watt and fellow All-SEC performer Addie McCain. Other key returnees include SEC All-Freshman Ásdís Halldórsdóttir and Mexico National Team standout Jimena López.
Watt was the Aggies' leading scorer last season, logging 33 points on 15 goals and three assists. McCain chipped in with 14 points on six goals and two assists. The Aggies need to replace goalkeeper Cosette Morché who played every minute in goal for the Aggies the last two seasons.
The Maroon & White concluded their 2018 campaign with a record of 17-5-1 and a winning percentage of .761. The Aggies obtained their 24th straight appearance the NCAA Championship Tournament and advanced to the second round for their 20th consecutive season.
Texas A&M has an exhibition match at TCU scheduled for Saturday, August 17 vs. TCU.