COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Aggies were picked as favorites to win the Southeastern Conference soccer title in the SEC Preseason Coaches Poll released Tuesday morning.
Beginning their eighth season in the SEC, it marks the second time the Aggies were tabbed as league favorites. The Maroon & White were picked for the top perch in 2013 and slotted in the No. 2 spot the six other seasons.
The coaches selected the Aggies first followed with South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Florida to round out the top five. Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama and Missouri penciled in for the middle of the pack from 6-10. Cellar dweller status was assigned to Mississippi State, LSU, Georgia and Kentucky.
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 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.
The Maroon & White open the 2019 campaign on August 22 as they travel to California for a match against the Santa Clara Broncos.
Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Texas A&M
2. South Carolina
8. Ole Miss
11. Mississippi State