Aug. 21, 2006
PORTLAND CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN 2006 WCC PRESEASON POLL
Portland, the defending national champion, was selected as the favorite to take home the 2006 West Coast Conference regular season title, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. The Pilots, who return eight starters from last year's championship squad, received five first place votes to tally 47 overall points. Santa Clara, which welcomes back 10 starters from last season's team that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, was selected second with 45 total points and received three first place vote. The Broncos are followed in the poll by a pair of 2005 NCAA Tournament participants in Gonzaga (34) and Pepperdine (31). Selected fifth was San Diego with 23 points, Loyola Marymount was tabbed sixth with 21 points, while Saint Mary's (15) and San Francisco (7) round out this year's preseason poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
Women's Soccer 2006 Preseason Poll
1. Portland - 47 (5)
2. Santa Clara - 45 (3)
3. Gonzaga - 34
4. Pepperdine - 31
5. San Diego - 23
6. Loyola Marymount - 21
7. Saint Mary's - 15
8. San Francisco - 7
(First place votes)
AROUND THE WCC
Decade of Dominance
Over the last 10 years, no conference has had more College Cup participants than the WCC. In the last decade, the WCC has sent 13 teams into the national semifinals, three more than the next closest conference.
College Cup Appearances By Conferences Over The Last 10 Years (2005-1996)
13 - WCC (POR - 2005, 2002-00, 1998, 1996; SCU - 2004, 2002-01, 1999-1996)
10 - ACC (UNC - 2003-1996; FSU - 2005, 2003)
7 - Big East (ND - 2004, 2000, 1999, 1997-96; UCONN - 2003, 1997)
04 - Pac-10 (UCLA - 2005-03, 2000)
3 - Big Ten (Penn State - 2005, 2002, 1999)
2 - SEC (Florida - 2001, 1998)
1 - Ivy League (Princeton - 2004)
The WCC: The Elite Conference
The WCC sent three teams to the Sweet Sixteen and two teams to the Elite Eight (NCAA Quarterfinals) last season. It marked the 14th consecutive season that the WCC has had at least one representatitve in the NCAA Quarterfinals, the longest streak in the nation.
WCC In The RPI
Last season, the WCC once again proved to be one of the premier women's soccer conferences in the country, finishing the season ranked No. 3 in the RPI for the second straight season. The 2005 season marked the WCC's fifth consecutive season ranked in the RPI top 5.
West Coast Conference RPI Rankings By Year
2005 - 3rd
2004 - 3rd
2003 - 5th
2002 - 2nd
2001 - 2nd
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga is ranked No. 25 in the Soccer Buzz preseason poll. The top-25 ranking marks the first time in program history that the Bulldogs have earned a preseason listing.
- The Bulldogs are coming off of a historic 2005 campaign in which they advanced to their inaugural NCAA Tournament as well as set a single-season program record for wins with 12.
- The Zags also set new program bests for most consecutive wins with seven, most shutouts with 11, and their highest finish ever in the WCC with a 3-1-3 record for a third place showing.
- Gonzaga, picked third in the WCC preseason poll, returns 18 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last season's squad.
- The Zags open the season versus Oregon State (8/25) and Washington State (8/27).
Loyola Marymount (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The Lions concluded a challenging 2005 season with a 6-10-4 record.
- LMU, picked sixth in the WCC preseason poll, returns seven starters and 15 letterwinners from last season's squad.
- Junior goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek recorded eight shutouts last season, which was fourth among WCC goalkeepers in 2005. Slovek now has 10 career shutouts, third on the all-time LMU career list.
- Head Coach Gregg Murphy, entering his 11th season at the helm of the Lions' program, welcomes in the No. 28 recruiting class, according to Soccer Buzz.
- The Lions host San Jose State (8/25) to open the season before traveling to Lawrence, KS to take on the Kansas Jayhawks (8/27).
Pepperdine Waves (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Pepperdine opens the season ranked No. 20 in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and the Soccer Buzz polls.
- The Waves enjoyed an outstanding 2005 campaign, posting a 15-4-3 record and advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
- Pepperdine returns seven starters and 21 letterwinners from last season's team. In addition, the Waves welcome in the No. 18 recruiting class, according to Soccer Buzz.
- The Waves, who have advanced to five straight NCAA Tournaments, join Portland and Santa Clara as the only schools to have won the WCC regular season title. Pepperdine shared the title with Santa Clara in 2002.
- The Waves host Idaho (8/25) to open the season before traveling to Cal Poly (8/27).
Portland Pilots (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The defending national champion Portland Pilots open the season ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA, No. 2 by Soccer America, and No. 5 by Soccer Buzz.
- The Pilots return eight starters from last year's championship squad and add the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation, according to Soccer Buzz.
- Portland led all schools in the country with three players on the 2006 women's Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List. Junior All-American defender Stephanie Lopez, the 2005 WCC Defensive Player of the Year, junior All-American midfielder Angie Woznuk and sophomore All-American midfielder Megan Rapinoe headline the 25-player list.
- The Pilots jump right into a challenging schedule, opening the season at No. 18 Florida (8/25) and at No. 4 Florida State (8/27).
Saint Mary's Gaels (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- First-year Head Coach Kelly Lindsey takes over the reins of the Saint Mary's program. Lindsey, who is the fourth head coach in the 25 years of the Saint Mary's women's soccer program, spent the past two seasons as the top assistant coach at the University of Texas.
- The Gaels, picked seventh in the WCC preseason poll, return 10 letterwinners from last season's 8-8-3 team.
- SMC will be led by sophomores Stefani Rocco and Nikki Schrey. Rocco and Schrey are coming off of impressive freshman campaigns in which both players earned All-WCC accolades. Rocco, an honorable mention All-WCC selection, led the Gaels with four assists, while Schrey, a WCC all-freshmen team member, led Saint Mary's in points (15) and goals (6).
- The Gaels host Long Island (8/25) to open the season.
San Diego Toreros (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- San Diego, picked fifth in the WCC preseason poll, looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2005 campaign. With 17 letterwinners returning, including seven starters, the Toreros should be poised for their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight seasons.
- The Toreros will be led by a trio of All-WCC honorees. Junior Leigh Ann Robinson earned All-WCC second team honors last season, while senior Veronica Ambort, and sophomore Christina Carriaga were named honorable mention selections.
- Junior Karen Cook and sophomore Brittany Cameron will battle for the starting spot in the net. Cameron posted a 3-8 record with one shutout last season, while Cook posted a 3-4-1 record with one shutout.
- USD opens the season at Cal Poly (8/25) before hosting UC Santa Barbara (8/27).
San Francisco Dons (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The Dons welcome back eight starters and 20 letter-winners from last season.
- Senior forward Chelsea Hunt headlines the list of returning starters and cemented her reputation as one of the elite offensive playmakers in the WCC last season with a career-high 10 goals along with a pair of assists. Hunt, a two-time All-WCC second team member, enters the season with 23 career scoring strikes, good for a share of third place on the Dons career goals list with Shellie Silva (1991-94).
- A pair of sophomores, defender Jessica Duty and goalkeeper Katie Hodgson, earned WCC all-freshman team honors last year.
- San Francisco opens the season at Fresno State (8/25) before hosting UC Davis (8/27) on Sunday.
Santa Clara Broncos (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara opens the season ranked No. 2 by Soccer Buzz, No. 5 by Soccer America and No. 7 by the NSCAA.
- Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals last season, marking the 11th straight year that SCU has reached at least the Elite Eight, giving the Broncos the longest such streak in the nation.
- The Broncos return 22 letterwinners and nine of their top 10 goal scorers from last year's team. In addition, SCU also welcomes in the fourth best recruiting class in the country, according to Soccer Buzz.
- Senior Marian Dalmy was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List.
- SCU hosts Wake Forest (8/25) and Utah (8/27) at the Santa Clara adidas Classic.