BIRMINGHAM – Mississippi Valley State forward Josee Primeau and defender Bianca Vigliante have been named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Soccer Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. Preseason honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Despite having new coaches at the helm, the Jackson State Lady Tigers (62 points) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Lions (59 points) were picked as the preseason favorites in the SWAC Eastern and Western Divisions, respectively. Of the 15 first place votes available, defending SWAC champion UAPB received nine. Meanwhile, 2010 conference champion JSU received seven first place votes.
Primeau, a 5-8, sophomore from Pontypool, Ontario scored eight goals in 17 games in 2011. She tallied 16 points, leading the Devilettes to the SWAC title game. She earned SWAC Offensive Player of the Week honors during the season and was second team All-Conference.
Vigliante, a 5-3 junior from El Paso, Texas earned SWAC Defensive Player of the Week honors and was second team All-SWAC.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff swept through the league for the second straight season, posting a 4-0-0 SWAC record and a 16-5-1 overall mark last year. Jackson State recorded a 3-0-1 conference mark and a 7-9-1 overall record in 2011.
After back-to-back SWAC runner-up finishes, Mississippi Valley State tallied five first-place votes in the Eastern Division and was picked to finish second with 59 points. Alcorn State received two first place votes and was picked third with 45 points, while Alabama State finished with 31 points for fourth followed by Alabama A&M with 28 points and one first place vote.
The Western Division voting was very close. Prairie View A&M was picked second, earning 53 points and three first place votes. Texas Southern was a very close third with 51 points and two first place votes, followed by Southern (41 points) and Grambling State (21 points). Southern also picked up one first place vote.
The season kicks off on Sunday with a pair of matches. Alabama A&M hosts Belmont and Jackson State visits Arkansas State. The full schedule swings into action on Aug. 17 and 19th. The 2012 SWAC Women’s Soccer Championship returns to the Johnny Downs Soccer Center in Alexandria, La for the second season on November 1-4.
Preseason All-SWAC 1st-team
MF Angie Guillory, Jr., Prairie View A&M
MF Molly Stone, So., Arkansas-Pine Bluff
MF Kimberlie Hernandez, So., Jackson State
MF Perri Weslosky, Fr., Arkansas-Pine Bluff
D Carly Deter, So., Prairie View
D Reaghan Zilkie, So., Arkansas-Pine Bluff
D Bianca Vigliante, Jr., Mississippi Valley State
F Yosselyn Aguilar, Sr., Prairie View
F Josee Primeau, So., Mississippi Valley State
F Nancy Cadenas, Jr., Texas Southern
GK Shelby Willcocks, Jr., Mississippi Valley St.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Josee Primeau, Mississippi Valley State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Bianca Vigliante, Mississippi Valley State
Preseason All-SWAC 2nd-team
MF Hailey Beekman, So., Mississippi Valley St.
MF Chavon Douglas, So., Alcorn State
MF Courtney Bahadursing, So., Southern
MF Kendra Monroe, So., Southern
D Iita Pienimaki, So., Alabama State
D Melissa Douglas, Jr., Alabama State
D Florence Onyera, Sr., Texas Southern
F Shanesse Spratt, Jr., Mississippi Valley St.
F Sierra Arndt, Sr., Grambling State
F Nycole Henderson, So., Alabama A&M
GK Sarah Forde, So., Southern
SWAC Predicted Order of Finish (1st-place votes)
1. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (9) 59 points
2. Prairie View A&M (3) 53 points
3. Texas Southern (2) 51 points
4. Southern (1) 41 points
5. Grambling 21 points
1. Jackson State (7) 62 points
2. Mississippi Valley (5) 59 points
3. Alcorn State (2) 45 points
4. Alabama State 31 points
5. Alabama A&M (1) 28 point