Hurtado receives “Preseason Player of the Year” honors
The JU women’s soccer team was a popular vote among the coaches of the Atlantic Sun Conference as midfielder Jessica Hurtado was selected as the “Preseason Player of the Year,” with forward Eva Leeper also receiving a preseason team nod while the Dolphins were selected to finish fourth in the A-Sun preseason poll.

The Dolphins earned a tie for fourth in the preseason poll with Mercer with 80 points each. Reigning regular season and tournament champion Kennesaw State (117, eight first place votes) takes home first place with FGCU (100, 1) and Belmont (96, 2) rounding out the top three.

“It’s great for Jess and Eva to get these honors,” said JU head coach Brian Copham. “They both had strong seasons last year and we hope that they can build off last year’s success, and continue to improve this season.

“As for the preseason poll, it’s nice to be selected fourth but we never really put much stock in it. We just need to go out and win games.”

Last season, both Hurtado and Leeper received all-conference honors with Hurtado being named to the first team while Leeper picked up “Freshman of the Year” accolades. Leeper scored six goals during her freshman year while Hurtado tallied three scores in her sophomore season.

The Dolphins will kick off their 2010 campaign with a road trip to face Furman on Friday at 7 p.m. and Clemson on Sunday at 1 p.m.