One year after winning its second consecutive Atlantic Sun Tournament crown and third consecutive regular season title, the FGCU women's soccer team was tabbed as the top A-Sun conference team in the preseason coaches' poll released Thursday.
Eagles sophomore Ally Kasun was named the conference's preseason Player of the Year, marking just the second time an Eagles student-athlete has earned that distinction.
The Eagles also took two of the three fan-voted preseason awards. Kasun was voted by fans as player of the year, while FGCU sophomore Brittany Brown was named the Goalkeeper of the Year by fans.
In a vote conducted by the conference's 10 head coaches, the Eagles received five first-place votes, making them the predicted preseason favorite to bring home the conference regular season and A-Sun Tournament championship for the third consecutive year.
Six different teams received a first-place vote with Jacksonville (73) occupying the second spot, followed by ETSU and Mercer tied for third (72). FGCU took the top spot by 22 points (95), the largest margin of victory for a top preseason pick since 2007.
The Eagles, who have boasted a player on the preseason team in five of the last six seasons, were one of two schools to place multiple players on the preseason All-Conference team. Kasun and sophomore Emma Blackwell, and juniors Melissa Arnold and Shannen Wacker represented the Eagles on the 11-member squad.
Kasun also was the 2012 A-Sun Tournament MVP and named to the 2012 A-Sun All Freshmen Team. The midfielder, who started all 21 games, was second on the team in points and goals in her first season. She had seven goals last season, including the game-winning goal in overtime against Mercer in the A-Sun Championship.
FGCU returns 14 players from last season, along with 10 newcomers. The Eagles open the regular season against UF in Gainesville on Friday, Aug. 23.