BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Murray State women's soccer has been picked to win the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference title, as voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Racers, winners of three of the last four conference championships, received 18 of 22 first-place votes and 198 points.
UT Martin, which won its fifth regular-season title last season, earned three-first place votes and 174 points for a second-place finish. Eastern Kentucky picked up the remaining first-place vote and 147 points for a third-place predicted finish.
SIUE earned 134 points to be picked to finish fourth. Rounding out the poll are Eastern Illinois (106), Belmont (102), Southeast Missouri (95), Tennessee Tech (92), Morehead State (64), Austin Peay (59) and Jacksonville State (39).
Murray State went 7-3 in the OVC while going 13-5-1 overall to place second in the league. The Racers went on to defeat UT Martin in the championship match, 2-1, to win their second-straight tournament crown last season. Matt Lodge enters his second season as the head coach, and will have three All-OVC performers back from last season in sophomore forward Abby Jones, senior forward Miyah Watford and senior defender Karsyn Hasch.
Jones was named the 2018 OVC Freshman of the Year last season after ranking fifth in goals (8), second in points (25) and first in assists (9) in the OVC. Watford was second in the league last season in points (25) and goals (10) while leading the conference with 84 shots and 4.67 shots per game.
Hasch was part of a defense that allowed just 10 goals in conference play. She played in all 19 matches last year and logged 1,695 minutes.
The 2019 season gets underway on Aug. 23 with conference play beginning Sept. 20.
The 2019 OVC Soccer Championship begins on Nov. 1 and 3 with the first round and quarterfinals on the campus of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. The semifinals and championship will be on the campus on of the No. 1 seed on Nov. 8 and 10.