Aug. 11, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The University of Portland garnered the maximum seven first place votes and was selected as the preseason favorite in the 2010 WCC women's soccer head coaches preseason poll. The Pilots are followed in the poll by 2009 NCAA Tournament participants Santa Clara and San Diego. Rounding out this year's poll was Pepperdine in fourth place, followed by Loyola Marymount, picked fifth, Saint Mary's in sixth, Gonzaga in seventh, and San Francisco in eighth.
The Pilots, who captured their third consecutive conference title and fifth in the last six seasons in 2009, have won a WCC record 11 conference crowns. Portland returns eight starters and 18 letterwinners from the 2009 squad that posted a 21-2-0 overall record and advanced to its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. In addition to earning the top spot in the preseason poll, the Pilots also landed the most players on the WCC preseason all-conference team in seniors Sophie Schmidt, Kendra Chandhoke and Keelin Winters, and junior Danielle Foxhoven.
Santa Clara returns seven starters and 17 letterwinners overall from last year's squad that posted a 14-7-2 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. The Broncos will be led by 2009 WCC Co-Freshman of the Year Allie Vernon and junior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, both of whom were selected to the 11-player preseason all-conference team.
San Diego finished the 2009 season with a 12-7-2 overall record and a 5-2-0 mark in the West Coast Conference, good for a second place finish. The Toreros, who welcome back seven starters and 19 letterwinners overall, have earned three straight NCAA Tournament at-large bids and have made 10 trips to the postseason overall.
Pepperdine narrowly edged rival Loyola Marymount for fourth place in the preseason poll. The Waves will be led by junior M/F Michelle Spacciapolli and sophomore goalkeeper Roxanne Barker, both of whom were named second team All-WCC last season. The Lions, who welcome back six starters and 14 letterwinners overall, will be led by one of the top playmakers in the conference in senior forward Julie Gallaudet, an All-WCC first team member last season.
Saint Mary's, picked sixth, will look to 2009 All-WCC honorable mention member Daelyn Paul, while Gonzaga returns All-WCC second team member Sheridan Jones. San Francisco will be led by senior defender Ashley O'Brien, an All-WCC honorable mention pick.
2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. Santa Clara - 41.5 (1)
3. San Diego - 38.5
4. Pepperdine - 27
5. Loyola Marymount - 26
6. Saint Mary's - 19
7. Gonzaga - 12
(First place votes)
2010 WCC Preseason All-Conference
Kendra Chandhoke, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Julie Gallaudet, Loyola Marymount
Bianca Henniger, Santa Clara
Sheridan Jones, Gonzaga
Stephanie Ochs, San Diego
Sophie Schmidt, Portland
Michelle Spacciapolli, Pepperdine
Allie Vernon, Santa Clara
Keelin Winters, Portland
Jackie Zinke, San Diego