WACO, Texas – The Rogers State women's soccer team ranked third in the 2018 Heartland Conference Women's Soccer Preseason poll with three Hillcats earning 2018 Preseason All-Heartland Conference honors as announced by the league on Wednesday (Aug. 22). Melissa Cardenas, Hannah Mushisky and Taylor Sargent were named to the Preseason All-Heartland Team.
The poll and all-conference team is determined by the votes of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Hillcats were tabbed to finish third under first-year head coach Yolanda Thomas with 89 total points in the poll. RSU advanced to the Heartland Conference tournament finals in 2017 and made one of the biggest turnarounds in league history, going 9-3-2 in conference action. The navy and red finished 2017 with a 13-4-3 record, including an 8-1-1 mark at Soldier Field. The Cats return eight starters from the 2017 season.
Senior defender Melissa Cardenas, sophomore forward Hannah Mushisky and senior goalkeeper Taylor Sargent were named to the Preseason All-Heartland Team. Sargent was one of the top goalkeepers in the nation in 2017 as she garnered D2CCA All-Region First Team honors along with All-Heartland Conference First Team accolades. Mushisky and Cardenas were named All-South Central Region Second Team by the United Soccer Coaches and All-Heartland Conference Second Team in the 2017 campaign.
Dallas Baptist University was picked to win the 2018 Heartland Conference title with 124 total points and 14 of the 16 first-place votes. St. Edward's ranked just behind the Patriots with 109 total points and one first-place vote for second place in the league poll.
Newman was picked fourth in the poll with 79 total points. Lubbock Christian received 77 total points and one first-place vote in fifth place. St. Mary's received 44 points in sixth followed by Texas A&M International (29 points) and Oklahoma Christian (25 points).
The Hillcats open the 2018 regular season at Northwestern Oklahoma State on Aug. 30 in Alva. The 2018 home opener is Sept. 4 against Rockhurst at 6 p.m. at Soldier Field.