Aug. 25, 2010
SAN BRUNO, CALIF. - Loyola Marymount University edged out the University of Portland and the University of San Diego to earn the top spot in the 2010 West Coast Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll. In addition, Portland highlighted the 2010 WCC Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team with a conference-high three selections.
Four different teams - LMU, Portland, San Diego and Saint Mary's College - received first place votes and just six points separated first through third place. The Lions finished with 32 points and three first-place votes, followed by the Pilots (28 points and two first place votes), the Toreros (26 points and one first place vote) and the Gaels (22 points and one first place vote). Rounding out the poll was Santa Clara University in fifth, the University of San Francisco in sixth and Gonzaga University in seventh.
Four different WCC teams competed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, including Loyola Marymount, which returns 2010 Preseason All-Conference selections seniors Rafael Baca and Vincent Ocampo. LMU ended the 2009 campaign with a 10-9-2 mark. The Lions' 2010 schedule features five opponents who played in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and seven who won 10 or more contests. The Lions will be looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season and sixth time since 2001.
The Portland Pilots, who lead the way with three WCC Preseason All-Conference selections, have 15 letter-winners and seven starters returning for the 2010 season as they look to build upon their run to the round of 16 in last year's NCAA Tournament. Ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA Preseason Coaches' Poll and also tabbed No. 23 in the College Soccer News preseason poll, the Pilots are led by senior midfielder and all-WCC pick senior Jarad vanSchaik (6 goals, 8 assists) and senior forward Ryan Luke (7 goals, 2 assists), along with all-conference goalkeeper Austin Guerrero, who enters his senior season fourth in UP history in career saves per game (4.06), fifth in total saves (256), sixth in shutouts (16) and seventh in goals against average (1.17).
Defending WCC Champion San Diego returns 16 players from its NCAA tournament team from last season, including 2009 WCC Freshman of the Year Patrick Wallen, while the Gaels enter the season with nine starters returning from last year's 10-5-5 team, the best record in school history. Head coach Adam Cooper, the 2009 WCC Coach of the Year, led the Gaels to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Santa Clara, selected fifth, will look to WCC Preseason All-Conference selections sophomore Erik Hurtado and junior Eric Masch. Hurtado led Santa Clara in goals (7), points (16) and shots (42) last season, and scored three game-winners. San Francisco features a roster loaded with talented newcomers to go along with six returning upperclassmen, including senior forward Bryan Burke, a 2010 WCC Preseason All-Conference pick. Rounding out this year's poll is Gonzaga, who will look to senior forward Nick Love to lead the way after he finished second on the team in both goals (4) and assists (4) last season.
2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
1.Loyola Marymount 32 points (3)
2.Portland 28 (2)
3.San Diego 26 (1)
4.Saint Mary's 22 (1)
5.Santa Clara 20
6.San Francisco 12
(First place votes)
2010 WCC Preseason All-Conference
Rafael Baca, Loyola Marymount
Patrick Wallen, San Diego
Erik Hurtado, Santa Clara
Bryan Burke, San Francisco
Austin Guerrero, Portland
Dylan Leslie, Saint Mary's
Jarad vanSchaik, Portland
Jordan Grider, Saint Mary's
Ryan Kawulok, Portland
Vincent Ocampo, Loyola Marymount
Eric Masch, Santa Clara