Of 11 players named to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team, only one is a goalkeeper, and only one attends Troy University.
Mikki Lewis fills both categories.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 16, the junior has been selected for the prestigious list for her second consecutive year. While the psychology major from St. Johns, Florida, is honored to have received such an award, she insists that her success is due primarily to the supporting defense.
“I was the only player from Troy that was named,” Lewis said, “but that’s because my defense is completely fabulous. They do all the hard work. I just wish that they got named as well.”
Lewis came to Troy as a freshman under now third-year head coach, Jason Hamilton.
“It was basically like coming onto this new team that’s completely bought into this new philosophy like a change of pace, like everything that the Troy soccer team needed,” Lewis said. “Freshman year was really fresh.”
While she loves the university, it was undoubtedly the sport that drew her to Troy.
“I wouldn’t have chosen Troy if it wasn’t for soccer, but I’m glad I’m here,” she said. “When I went on my first visit, I saw the campus. It fit all my requirements and then I met the team, who were really nice and welcoming so that’s really what pulled me in.”
As far as her expectations for this season, the star goalie said she thinks her teammates “have this feeling that something great’s going to happen.”
The team has been in season for a couple weeks now, their first game having taken place Sunday, Aug. 14.
“(Practices) are nice,” Lewis said. “They’re a lot different than previous years. I think we’re dividing things up more.”
Student support for the soccer program has drastically improved in the past two years, with fans filling up the stadium multiple times.
“That’s the best feeling in the world,” she said. “When I came here people didn’t even know where the soccer field was.
“Now it’s reliable, we know that we’re going to have a bunch of people at every game. And I think it helps us. I think we’ve only lost one game in two years at home.
“We definitely play better when we’re at home because of everyone that’s there and it just pumps us up. We’re so hyped. I think other teams get nervous playing us because they know that we have such a big support system.”
Fans can show their support for Lewis and the Trojans at Troy’s next home game, which is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 26th in the Troy Soccer Complex. Kickoff against Belmont is scheduled for 7 p.m.