BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff forward Jade West and defender Erika Forbes, also from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, were named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Soccer Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, the conference announced today. Preseason honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

The Jackson State Lady Tigers and Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Lions were picked as the preseason favorites in the eastern and western divisions, respectively. Jackson State received 15 out of 20 first-place votes while Arkansas-Pine Bluff tallied 19 first-place votes.

West, the league’s Offensive Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons, ranked first in the SWAC in goals (11), assists (10) and points (32). She led her team in four different categories and garnered First Team All-SWAC honors in 2009.

Forbes, a 2009 All-SWAC First Team selection, finished second in the conference in assists (8) and fourth in points (20). She was a three-time SWAC Player of the Week honoree in 2009.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff posted a 3-1-0 league record and a 12-7-4 overall mark in 2009 en route to the SWAC Championship. Teammate Rachel Harker joins West and Forbes on the preseason first team.

Jackson State recorded a 3-0-1 conference mark and an 8-6-2 overall record in 2009. The Tigers welcome back preseason All-SWAC midfielder Bupe Okeowo and goalkeeper Allison Lane.

In the eastern division, Alabama A&M was predicted to finish second with 68 points. Mississippi Valley State tallied two first-place votes and 67 points for third followed by Alcorn State (37 points) and Alabama State (34 points).

Prairie View A&M, the runner-up to the SWAC Championship a year ago, was picked to finish second in the western division with 69 points. Texas Southern (52 points) was tabbed third followed by Southern (42 points) and Grambling (39 points).

The 2010 SWAC Women’s Soccer Championship will be held November 4-7 on the campus of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Predicted Order of Finish (First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)

Eastern Division Pts.
1. Jackson State (15) 94 pts.
2. Alabama A&M (1) 68 pts.
3. Mississippi Valley State (2) 67 pts.
4. Alcorn State (2) 37 pts.
5. Alabama State 34 pts.
Western Division Pts.
1. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (19) 98 pts.
2. Prairie View A&M (1) 69 pts.
3. Texas Southern 52 pts.
4. Southern 49 pts.
5. Grambling  State 39 pts.

2010 Women’s Soccer Preseason Honors

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Jade West, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Erika Forbes, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

First Team

Name Pos. Ht. Cl. School Hometown
Rachel Harker M 5-7 Jr. Ark.-Pine Bluff Burnaby, British Columbia
Bupe Okeowo M 5-8 So. Jackson State Dumfries,Va.
Abigail Escobar M 5-5 So. Prairie View A&M San Juan, Texas
Nakesha Rolle M 5-6 Sr. Southern Nassau, Bahamas
Brittany Joseph D 5-5 Jr. Alabama A&M Pasadena, Calif.
Erika Forbes D 5-5 Jr. Ark.-Pine Bluff Whitby, Ontario
Monica Diaz D 5-6 Sr. Prairie View A&M Katy, Texas
Jade West F 5-5 Jr. Ark.-Pine Bluff Ajax, Ontario
Ashley Baker F 5-5 Sr. Grambling El Paso, Texas
Yosselyn Aguilar F 5-6 So. Prairie View A&M Houston, Texas
Allison Lane GK 5-7 So. Jackson State Marlton, N.J.

Second Team

Name Pos. Ht. Cl. School Hometown
Joice Avila M 5-6 Jr. Alabama A&M East Elmhurst, N.Y.
Deanna Barclay M 5-6 Jr. Jackson State Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Kayla Boyd M 5-6 So. Mississippi Valley London, Ontario
Nailah Johnson M 5-7 So. Texas Southern Cathedral City, Calif.
Joell Gibson D 5-4 So. Jackson State Frere Pilgrim, Barbados
Mandi Quirk D 5-9 Sr. Mississippi Valley Mississauga, Ontario
Saycha Mitchell D 5-7 Sr. Texas Southern Sacramento, Calif.
Celeste Roberts F 5-8 Jr. Alabama A&M Far Rockaway, Ala.
Nicole Parks-Powell F 6-1 Jr. Ark.-Pine Bluff Tracy, Calif.
Rachele Dobbins F 5-6 Jr. Grambling Little Rock, Ark.
Chelsea Nash GK 5-6 Sr. Alabama State Tifton, Ga.


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