CHARLOTTE — Defending women’s soccer regular-season champion, Campbell, was voted the favorite in the annual Big South Conference preseason poll released by the league’s head coaches Tuesday.
In addition, the coaches voted Lady Camels’ senior forward Jessica Donald the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Campbell senior Delaney Baumbick earned top defensive individual honors.
CU, under the direction of first-year head coach Jeff Gross, collected seven of the 10 first-place votes and 97 total points in being voted the preseason favorite for the first time since the 2012 season.
Donald is the first Campbell player to be voted the league's preseason offensive player of the year since 2018, and the third overall.
She was named a first-team all-conference pick for the second straight season in 2021 and received United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region third-team honors. Donald appeared in all 18 games a season ago and led the team with nine goals and 26 points while posting the second-most assists on the team.
Donald tied for second in the Big South in goals scored and was second in points, and ranked third in the country with a 69.4 shot-on-goal percentage. The Big South co-leader with four game-winning goals in 2021, Donald recorded a point in five of the last six games of the season, and had three multi-goal games.
Baumbick is the second consecutive Lady Camel to be voted the Big South Women’s Soccer Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
A member of the 2021 Big South All-Tournament Team, Baumbick appeared and started in 17 games last season. She was part of a defense that recorded five shutouts on the year and allowed the third-fewest overall goals, 22, in the Big South. Baumbick played every minute in 12 matches and helped the Lady Camels to a 0.90 goals against average in league play.
Campbell won the regular-season title with a 9-1-0 Big South record and finished 12-4-2 overall. The Lady Camels return 20 letterwinners and nine starters from last season’s squad.
The 2022 season begins Thursday, Aug. 18, while conference play opens Wednesday, Sept. 21.