DENTON, Texas (8/15/12) - North Texas senior forward Michelle Young, junior defender Kelsey Hodges and sophomore goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine were named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team, the league announced Thursday.
Young, who was also named Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year with FIU forward Chelsea Leiva, led North Texas with a career-high 13 goals last season, and was second in the Sun Belt with seven goals in SBC play. That output helped her earn a spot on the All-Sun Belt First Team at the end of the season and has pushed her to seventh on the all-time list at North Texas for goals scored.
Hodges was also named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year following a terrific 2011 season where she led the Sun Belt among defenders with seven goals. It's also the second straight time that Hodges has been named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team, earning the honor last year as a sophomore as well.
Kerestine set a North Texas single-season record with a 0.71 goals-against-average, led the conference in save-percentage and had nine shutouts, including three straight to end the 2011 season.
North Texas, FIU and Middle Tennessee each had three players make the Preseason All-Sun Belt team, while Western Kentucky had two.
In the team poll, North Texas finished second with five first-place votes and 110 points. FIU was picked to finish first, racking up 114 points while also receiving five first-place votes. The Mean Green will play the Golden Panthers in Denton this year.
"To be picked second in the 11-team field after losing six starters from last year's championship team is the ultimate respect from the coaches in the Sun Belt Conference," said head coach John Hedlund. "It's also very gratifying to see Kelsey, Michelle and Jackie be recognized by the conference for their talent."
North Texas kicks off the 2012 season on Fri., August 17, on the road against Oral Roberts.