Aug. 12, 2009
Story courtesy of the Pac-10 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.- Just two points separate the top two teams in the Pac-10 Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll. However, the STANFORD Cardinal have been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2009 Pac-10 title in a vote by the Conference coaches. This marks the second-straight year Stanford has been picked to win, with UCLA previously winning the vote from 2004-2007.
Stanford, which tallied 78 points and six first-place votes, is coming off a campaign in which it finished second in the Pac-10 with an 8-1-0 Conference record (22-2-1, overall). The Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Women's College Cup where it lost a close 1-0 decision to Notre Dame, but not before picking up wins over UC Santa Barbara, Kansas, Rutgers and Portland in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the semifinals.
The Cardinal will have tough competition in 2009 with nine-time defending Pac-10 champion UCLA picking up 76 points and four first-place votes to take second place in the preseason poll by only two points. The Bruins, who went undefeated in Conference play last season, with a 9-0-0 record, advanced to the NCAA College Cup for the sixth-straight time in 2008 where they dropped a 1-0 final to North Carolina in the College Cup semifinals.
The USC Trojans placed third in the poll after finishing tied for third in the Pac-10 in 2008 with a 5-3-1 record in Conference play and posting a 16-5-2 overall record, also advancing to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the third round to UCLA. They finished out 2008 with a 1-0 loss to cross-town rival UCLA in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. CALIFORNIA is right on the heels of USC, earning just three points less at 58 and being tabbed to finish fourth. The Golden Bears finished in sixth in 2008 with a Pac-10 record of 3-5-1 and an overall record of 10-9-1.
WASHINGTON was picked to finish fifth with 46 points and WASHINGTON STATE is a close sixth with 45 points. ARIZONA STATE, which finished seventh in the Conference standings in 2008 was picked seventh by the coaches with 29 points. OREGON is close behind with 27 points in eighth place, and OREGON STATE (16) and ARIZONA round out the top ten, coming in at ninth and tenth place, respectively.
The 2009 Pac-10 women's soccer season kicks off on Fri., Aug. 21, when California, Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon State all take to the field.
Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):
2009 Pac-10 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Stanford (6) 78
2. UCLA (4) 76
3. USC 61
4. California 58
5. Washington 46
6. Washington State 45
7. Arizona State 29
8. Oregon 27
9. Oregon State 16