The AAC released its preseason coaches poll for women’s soccer Wednesday, and USF was picked to finish third in the conference.
USF ended the regular season last year in second place behind Memphis, but the Bulls were eventually crowned AAC champions after defeating the Tigers in the conference tournament championship game.
Despite the championship win, Memphis and rival UCF were chosen to finish ahead of the Bulls this season as they were tabbed to finish first and second, respectively.
As for individual preseason accolades, senior central defender Chyanne Dennis and junior forward Sydny Nasello were both selected for the preseason all-conference team.
In addition to the all-conference designation, Dennis was named the conference’s preseason defensive player of the year.
Dennis led the Bulls last season in minutes played, solidifying a defense that had seven shutouts in 21 games. This is her first inclusion on the preseason all-conference team and her first preseason defensive player of the year award.
While Dennis is known for her defensive prowess, Nasello does her best work on the offensive side of the ball.
As team leader in assists last season, Nasello is closing in on the program’s career record of 28, currently held by former Bull Siri Nordby. Nasello is 10 assists shy of matching the record.
Coach Denise Schilte-Brown and the Bulls will look to build upon arguably the program’s best season ever.
USF finished the regular season at 16-5 last year, and made a third-round appearance in the NCAA tournament. Both of these feats were unprecedented highs.
To reach such heights again, the Bulls must replace the prolific goal scoring of all-time leading scorer Evelyne Viens and the midfield composure of Andrea Hauksdóttir, both of whom finished their careers with the Bulls last season.
USF will get the ball rolling Saturday as they play an exhibition match versus Florida Gulf Coast at home before heading down to Florida Atlantic for the regular season opener Feb. 7.
Conference play will start Feb. 14 in Dallas against SMU, and the regular-season home opener will take place Feb. 21 against Temple.
Every home match during the regular season will be streamed live on ESPN+ and fan attendance will be limited via pass list only.