Just ahead of the FIRST (exhibition) GAME OF THE 2018-19 USF SPORTS SEASON, USF women’s soccer star Evelyne Viens was named AAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
This is the second straight season the junior has received the honor, with no prospect of relinquishing her hold of it next year. Viens was also named to the preseason all-conference team along with junior midfielder Andrea Hauksdottir.
Viens remains on all the record watches, starting the season tied as the fourth all-time goal scorer in USF history (28), and the sixth all-time assist provider (13). The current record for goals scored stands at 41, meaning Viens could realistically break the record this season with 14, two goals *less* than her freshman campaign.
USF, the defending AAC tournament champions, ranked second in the conference coaches’ preseason poll, three first-place votes behind C. They also received 41 votes in the preseason coaches’ poll, putting the Bulls in 27th and right on the cusp of a ranking. USF also starts at #19 in RPI.
C. is the only AAC team ranked in the Top 25, but SMU was also receiving votes (five of them). Traditional conference power UConn was conspicuously missing from the polls entirely.
The Bulls defeated C. in Oviedo last year in the conference tournament, overcoming penalties after going scoreless for 110 minutes (the two teams played to a 1-1 draw just a week earlier). The Bulls made the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2018, losing to UF in Gainesville 1-0.
Coming back to defend the conference title are almost all of the key pieces from the 2017 team, and only three players on roster are seniors or older. USF only loses two of last year’s regular starters, and Grace Adams is the only senior to have started in 2017 coming into this season.
The Bulls take the field for their first preseason match Wednesday in Tampa vs Stetson.