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Portland Tabbed As Favorite In 2009 WCC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

Aug. 5, 2009

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The University of Portland garnered the maximum seven first place votes and was selected as the preseason favorite in the 2009 WCC women's soccer head coaches preseason poll. The Pilots are followed in the poll by 2008 NCAA Tournament participant San Diego, which was picked second, Santa Clara third, and Pepperdine tabbed fourth. Rounding out this year's poll was Loyola Marymount, picked fifth, followed by Gonzaga in sixth, San Francisco in seventh, and Saint Mary's eighth.

The Pilots, who captured their second consecutive conference title and fourth in the last five seasons in 2008, have won a WCC record 10 conference crowns. Portland welcomes back nine starters and 18 letterwinners overall from last year's team that posted a 20-2-0 overall record and advanced to its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. In addition to earning to the top spot in the preseason poll, the Pilots also landed the most players on the WCC preseason all-conference team in seniors Kelsey Davis and Michelle Enyeart, junior Sophie Schmidt, and sophomore Danielle Foxhoven.

San Diego returns eight starters including 21 letterwinners overall from last year's squad that posted a 15-5-3 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Toreros, who posted a program-best 6-1 WCC record last season, will be led by 2008 All-WCC first team member Jackie Zinke, who was also named to the preseason all-conference team, and Natalie Garcia, Elissa Magracia, and Stephanie Ochs, all of whom were named to the 2008 All-WCC freshman team.

The Santa Clara Broncos were decimated with injuries during the 2008 season, resulting in a disappointing 4-12-4 record. The Broncos are led by a trio of seniors who were named to the WCC preseason all-conference team in Kiki Bosio, Dani Potts, and Katherine Reynolds.

Pepperdine narrowly edged rival Loyola Marymount for fourth place in the preseason poll. The Waves and the Lions return two of the best forwards in the conference in Laura Cole and Lily Sorentino, both of whom were selected to the preseason all-conference squad.

Rounding out this year's poll is Gonzaga (16), San Francisco (12), and Saint Mary's (11). The Zags and the Gaels will both be under new leadership this season as Amy Edwards takes over the helm of the Gonzaga program and Kai Edwards assumes the head coach position at Saint Mary's. Gonzaga will look to 2008 All-WCC first team member Sheridan Jones, selected to the preseason all-conference team, for leadership. The Dons begin their third season under Head Coach Mark Carr and should benefit from the return of eight starters.

2009 WCC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. San Diego - 41
3. Santa Clara - 38 (1)
4. Pepperdine - 29
5. Loyola Marymount - 28
6. Gonzaga - 16
7. San Francisco - 12
8. Saint Mary's - 11

2009 WCC Women's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
Kiki Bosio, SCU
Laura Cole, PEP
Kelsey Davis, POR
Michelle Enyeart, POR
Danielle Foxhoven, POR
Sheridan Jones, GON
Dani Potts, SCU
Katherine Reynolds, SCU
Sophie Schmidt, POR
Lily Sorentino, LMU
Jackie Zinke, USD