WCC Pre-Season Poll

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WCC Pre-Season Poll

Post by A_Fan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:16 pm

Portland Tabbed 2008 WCC Womenís Soccer Favorite

SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- Coming off of its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearance, the University of Portland was selected as the preseason favorite to take home the 2008 West Coast Conference regular season title, as voted on by the conferenceís head coaches. The Pilots, who return five starters from last yearís squad, received seven first place votes to tally 49 overall points. This marks the fourth straight year that the Pilots have been selected as the WCC preseason favorite.

Santa Clara University was selected second with 42 total points, and received one first place vote. The Broncos are followed in the poll by the University of San Diego (37), which advanced to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, and by Loyola Marymount University (30), which narrowly missed postseason play after posting a 12-6-1 record last season. Selected fifth was Pepperdine University, which tallied 24 points, followed by Gonzaga University with 22 points. The University of San Francisco (11) and Saint Maryís College (9) round out this yearís preseason poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Portland returns 14 letterwinners from last seasonís 18-4-0 team, including three of its top four goal scorers from 2007. The Pilots will be led by All-American Michelle Enyeart (12g, 15a), Sophie Schmidt (7g, 7a), a member of the Canadian Olympic team, and Keelin Winters, the 2007 WCC Freshman of the Year. Adding to the Pilotsí firepower will be Megan and Rachael Rapinoe, both of whom are expected to be significant contributors after suffering season-ending knee injuries last season. Megan earned second team All-American honors in 2005, while Rachael was a second team All-WCC member in 2006.

Santa Clara returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners from last seasonís squad, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th consecutive year. The Broncos also welcome in the 12th best recruiting class in the country, according to Soccer Buzz.

San Diego is coming off of a record-setting season, which saw the Torerosí establish program bests in overall record (15-3-3), WCC record (5-1-1), and national ranking (No. 9). The Toreros return eight starters and 17 letterwinners overall, including first team All-WCC selection Amy Epsten, the programís all-time leader in goals (30). The Waves, who are seeking their sixth NCAA Tournament bid in the last eight seasons, return eight starters and 14 letterwinners overall, while Loyola Marymount, which narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament last season, returns arguably the most experienced squad in the WCC with nine starters back and 23 letterwinners returning overall. Gonzaga, picked sixth, produced a 12-7-1 record in 2007, equaling the school record for wins in a season set by the 2005 team, and recording its fifth consecutive 10-win season. The Dons, selected seventh, look to rebuild under Head Coach Mark Carr, while Saint Maryís returns 10 starters and 18 letterwinners overall.

Womenís Soccer 2008 Preseason Poll

1. Portland - 49 (7)

2. Santa Clara - 42 (1)

3. San Diego - 37

4. Loyola Marymount - 30

5. Pepperdine - 24

6. Gonzaga - 22

7. San Francisco - 11

8. Saint Maryís - 9

(First place votes)

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Re: WCC Pre-Season Poll

Post by aleppiek on Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:34 pm

The top half of the conference should be very strong this year, I could see 4 teams really having a solid shot at the Tourney.

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Re: WCC Pre-Season Poll

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:37 pm

Yup... and even SMC and USF are headed in the right direction after hiring coaches from the UCLA/USC family. Santa Clara and Stanford get the pick of the litter from the Bay Area, but there is so much talent there that those schools can and should improve.

And Gonzaga is FINALLY adding a new soccer field (they have probably one of the worst fields in all of D1), so that should help their recruiting. Though actually it was only a few seasons ago that they seemed on the rise (they were even ranked) but then they slipped.

Pepperdine and LMU can both be dangerous for sure. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see LMU make a push for the NCAAs again... they got screwed last year.

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Re: WCC Pre-Season Poll

Post by aleppiek on Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:44 pm

Pepperdine, SMC, and Loyola Marymount all had solid recruiting classes this year as well, if freshman can step up and fill some holes for those squads, they should be competitive.

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Re: WCC Pre-Season Poll

Post by DaTruRochin on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:04 pm

A note on the GU soccer field, yeah I second that... I remember I was visiting a friend who went there my freshman year and was wandering about campus a bit with my brother and noticed some people playing soccer, I figured it was a club team since the field was little more than a patch of grass with a small grandstand with about a couple dozen or so people, like a place I used to play at in middle school... Hahah I wandered over, only to recognize the opposing team in purple with Lauren Orlandos, Christine Sinclair, Erin Misake (I can't spell), etc.... It was just surreal after watching games at Merlo, to turn around and see that... Its about time, the NW is pretty solid in women's soccer, the new field should definitely help with recruiting.

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