Lady Cougars Ranked 16th Nationally in Preseason Soccer Poll

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Columbus State women's soccer team is ranked No. 16 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II Preseason Poll.

CSU returns only four starters from last year's team that went 19-2-1, was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation and reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season.  Columbus State won their sixth straight Peach Belt Conference regular season championship and won the PBC Tournament for the fourth time in five years.

Helping soften the blow of last year's senior laden team departures will be the return of All-American Stephanie Lowery, the Lady Cougars leading scorer a year ago.  Also returning to the pitch will be All-Southeast Region honorees Willi Babillis and Kansas Bayly along with two-year starter Catherine Lovin.

Two other schools from the PBC were also included in the poll as Armstrong Atlantic State University came in ranked at No. 11 while UNC Pembroke received votes in the poll.  CSU will take on both institutions in conference play while also facing off against No. 8 Lenoir-Rhyne.

Columbus State opens the season on Friday, September 2 when it takes on Southern Indiana for the first time in school history in the Pioneer Invitational hosted by Tusculum College.  The home opener for the Lady Cougars is a week later on Friday, September 9 when it hosts Barry at the Walden Soccer Complex.