UWF women's soccer v Lee. Photo courtesy of smugmug

by Jason Cahan

Which of the men and women soccer teams will rule the Gulf South Conference? The UWF men’s team was voted by the preseason coaches’ poll to finish first in the GSC.

The 9-Time GSC Champions who finished 11-4-3 overall in 2018 are returning eight starters.

Senior forward Sean Hoffstatter who finished last season with a team high 17 goals and tied a team high six assists has his sights set on leading the Argos to another GSC Championship. Junior Ed Chappe who was second in goal scoring with 10 is also returning.

Head coach Bill Elliott has both his top scorers returning this season.

During their exhibition match against Lindsey Wilson on August 31 the Argo men looked in top form defeating the Blue Raiders 2-0. Hoffstatter scored the game’s first goal in the 14th minute and Senior midfielder Joshua Sauer scored the final goal in the 71st minute to cap off the victory.

The Argos are set to kick off the season at home against the University of Tampa Spartans on September 7 at the UWF Soccer Complex.

Next up, is the UWF women’s soccer team, which is coming off one of the most electrifying seasons in GSC history. The Argos were a perfect 13-0 in conference play in 2018 while having an overall record of 20-1-0. Their only loss was against the Lee University Flames in the NCAA Tournament.

The 11-Time GSC Champion Argos were dominant on the defensive end last year, giving up only 9 goals in 13 games. While being just as explosive on the offensive end, ending the season with 62 goals on 457 shot attempts.

To no surprise, the Argos are one of the three GSC teams ranked nationally, coming in at number eight in the top 25 preseason United Soccer Coaches poll.  The Argos were chosen by the Gulf Conference coaches as the preseason favorite to finish as number one in the GSC.

Freshman midfielder Peyton Peffers, sophomore defensive midfielder Jessica Quixley, junior defensive midfielder Celine Rumpf, and junior goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras have all been chosen for spots on the Preseason All-GSC Team.

Barreras is one of the nation’s best goalies coming off an exceptional season and was named 2018 GSC Player of the Year. Barreras was also named Most Outstanding Player of the GSC tournament, for her effort with having shutouts in each of the three GSC playoff games.

Head coach Joe Bartlinski has an 304-50-20 record as the UWF women’s soccer head coach and will look to continue their dominance this season.

“Success is reliant on the upperclassmen and their leadership, if they are determined and focused and disciplined and willing to battle then we have a good chance of doing well,” said coach Bartlinski when talking about how to keep the lady Argos team motivated after last season’s run.

When talking about this upcoming season coach Bartlinski said, “As always, our goals remain the same, to win the next game, very basic.”

The women’s soccer team will kick off the season against Trevecca Nazarene on Saturday, September 7 at the UWF Soccer Complex in Pensacola.

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