UP update on #1 ranking

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default UP update on #1 ranking

Post by A_Fan on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:49 pm

Pilots Ranked #1 in National Preseason Poll

The first national preseason women’s soccer poll is out and the University of Portland is at the head of the class. The Pilots are ranked No. 1 according to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Women’s College Soccer pre-season rankings, released on Monday.

Portland enters the 2009 season with high hopes and a roster that is expected to have no national team defections during the regular season and playoffs for the first time since the Pilots won the 2005 NCAA Championship. Portland won its first championship in 2002, another season where the program had a complete roster during its playoff run.

Head coach Garrett Smith led the Pilots to a 20-2-0 record and the NCAA quarterfinals last season. Despite missing three key starters to the U-20 FIFA World Cup – Michelle Enyeart, Keelin Winters and Elli Reed – during the NCAA playoffs, the Pilots pushed Stanford to the closing minutes on the road before losing by a 1-0 margin.

The U-20 trio, in addition to USA national team goalkeeper Kelsey Davis, Canadian national teamer Sophie Schmidt and USA Under-23 veterans Kendra Chandhoke and Jessica Tsao, give the Pilots a returning core of players with extensive international experience.

Portland returns nine players that started at least half of last year’s games, a number that does not include the three U-20 players and Chandhoke (medical redshirt in 2008).

The Pilots also welcome a talented five-player freshman class that features USA Under-17 defender Cloee Colohan, three of the top recruits from the state of Oregon, and a top Bay Area product.

Defending NCAA Champion North Carolina is ranked No. 2, while Stanford, UCLA and Notre Dame round out the top five.

TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Tournament 64 Women’s College Soccer rankings is the web site’s running attempt to track the 64-team, post-season NCAA Tournament field as well identify the very best programs in that field.

The Tournament 64 ranking is the only college ranking that accounts for the automatic berths awarded to every Division I college conference. The preseason ranking sees the Atlantic Coast Conference poised to receive the most tournament berths with eight. The Big 12, Big 10, PAC 10, SEC and Big East each come in with five berths, while the WCC, CAA and Conference USA are each projected to advance three teams to the postseason event.

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