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Three WCC Women's Soccer Teams Earn NSCAA Preseason Top 25 Rankings

Aug. 11, 2009

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Three West Coast Conference women's soccer teams were ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) preseason top 25 poll released on Tuesday. With three teams in the preseason top 25, the WCC tied for the third most teams in the country.

The University of Portland was the highest ranked WCC school, checking in at No. 4 in the preseason poll. The University of San Diego earned a No. 13 listing, while Santa Clara University was ranked No. 22.

Portland, the WCC preseason coaches favorite, 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.

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 Broncos, who bring back 10 seniors with the WCC's top recruiting class, are looking for their 20th NCAA Tournament bid this season, having made the College Cup 10 times during that span.

NSCAA PRESEASON TOP 25
1. North Carolina
2. Stanford
3. Notre Dame
4. Portland
5. UCLA
6. Florida State
7. Texas A&M
8. USC
9. Virginia
10. Florida
11. Oklahoma State
12. Penn State
13. San Diego
14. West Virginia
15. Texas
16. Duke
17. Illinois
18. Georgia
19. Minnesota
20. Rutgers
21. Washington State
22. Santa Clara
23. Boston College
24. Missouri
25. BYU