by Alex Tostado
Last season was a strong one all around for women’s soccer in the Gulf South Conference.
The University of West Florida took home its fifth consecutive GSC tournament title as well as the NCAA Division II title by beating University of California San Diego.
Valdosta State and University of North Alabama also made an appearance in the tournament.
West Florida posted a 24-1 record in the 2012-13 season and come into this season not only as GSC No. 1 team, but also the No. 1 team in the nation.
It is going to take a special team to bring down this conference powerhouse.
VSU comes into this season with big expectations.
They fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year after being named a No.5 seed in the tournament.
UNA finished third in the GSC for regular season play and lost in the GSC tournament finals to UWF.
The Lions are hoping to leap frog both VSU and UWF for a GSC crown.
The University of West Georgia brought in a new head coach in Chris Davidovicz.
This marks the third head coach in the 9-year-old program for the Wolves.
I still have questions surrounding the new coach, however.
The Wolves finished the 2012-13 season record of 6-11-3 (2-5-2) and the first year coach may not have what it takes to improve on this record in a tough conference.
The University of Alabama-Huntsville struggled in the conference finishing with a 4-5 record.
In non-conference play, the Chargers posted a 6-5 record to finish the season 10-10.
Delta State struggled mightily last season with an overall record of 3-12-2, including 2-6-1 in GSC play.
The preseason polls have the Lady Statesmen finishing last in the GSC.
Christian Brothers finished last in the GSC last season with a mark of 1-7-1 in the conference.
Christian Brothers will be struggling to keep up with the other talented teams in the GSC and they will be outdone by the Lady Statesmen by only a few points.
Finally, the University of West Alabama had an average season and looks to improve after winning only once in their final seven games.
UWA posted a losing overall record but stayed above .500 in the GSC with a mark of 5-3-1.
The Tigers are my dark horse to win the conference but they need to be prepared to play big every game.
The GSC will line up much like it did last year with Christian Brothers and Delta State fighting to stay out of the basement.
The top will be decided by the slimmest of margins and probably come down to the final few games on the schedule.