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Lady Eagles 9th in conference, 234th in Division II in preseason rankings

Somer Helms (above) and the OC Lady Eagles have been picked ninth among Heartland Conference teams in the preseason Bennett Rankings for women's soccer.
Somer Helms (above) and the OC Lady Eagles have been picked ninth among Heartland Conference teams in the preseason Bennett Rankings for women's soccer.

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 8, 2013) – According to a college rankings website, Oklahoma Christian will have the ninth-best women’s soccer team in the Heartland Conference during the upcoming season and is No. 234 among all NCAA Division II squads.

The Lady Eagles, who went 3-13 last season, including a 2-11 mark against conference foes, will open the 2013 campaign on Sept. 5 at Central Oklahoma.

The BennettRank College Soccer preseason rankings are touted on the BennettRank website as being “100 percent computer model-driven and derived from the analysis of over 12,000 games played during the 2012 season.” The rankings’ “proprietary algorithms weigh each team’s historical performance directly related to all other teams in their individual divisions and conferences.”

Unlike the Heartland Conference, which has chosen to exclude from its preseason polls its four members who are in the Division II membership process, the BennettRank service includes all 10 conference teams as it ranks all 252 Division II women’s squads.

The highest-ranked Heartland team in the rankings is St. Edward’s (Texas) at No. 19. St. Edward’s shared the conference regular-season title with Dallas Baptist (Texas) in 2012.

Dallas Baptist is the second-highest-rated Heartland team at No. 53, with Texas A&M International third at No. 136.

Two new Heartland teams which spent last season in the NAIA’s Sooner Athletic Conference – Lubbock Christian (Texas) and Rogers State – are at No. 164 and No. 165, respectively.

St. Mary’s (Texas) is sixth at No. 176, followed by McMurry (Texas) at No. 215, Newman (Kan.) at No. 223, OC at No. 245 and Texas-Permian Basin at No. 243.