Aug. 27, 2007
PORTLAND CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN 2007 WCC PRESEASON POLL
Coming off of an NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearance in 2006, the University of Portland was selected as the preseason favorite to take home the 2007 West Coast Conference regular season title, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. The Pilots, who return nine starters from last year's squad, received six first place votes to tally 48 overall points. Santa Clara University was selected second with 44 total points, and received two first place votes. The Broncos are followed in the poll by Pepperdine University (33) and the University of San Diego (30). Selected fifth was Loyola Marymount University, which tallied 27 points, followed by Gonzaga University with 22 points. The University of San Francisco (12) and Saint Mary's College (8) round out this year's preseason poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
Women's Soccer 2007 Preseason Poll
1. Portland - 48 (6)
2. Santa Clara - 44 (2)
3. Pepperdine - 33
4. San Diego - 30
5. Loyola Marymount - 27
6. Gonzaga - 22
7. San Francisco - 12
8. Saint Mary's - 8
(First place votes)
1 Saint Mary's vs. Colorado College - 2:00 PM
Gonzaga vs. Idaho - 3:00 PM
2 Pepperdine vs. Duke - 5:30 PM
Santa Clara vs. San Jose State - 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount at UC Santa Barbara - 7:00 PM
2 San Diego vs. Wake Forest - 8:00 PM
Portland vs. Florida State - 7:00 PM
2 Pepperdine vs. Wake Forest - 11:00 AM
1 Saint Mary's vs. Columbia - 12:00 PM
Loyola Marymount vs. Dayton - 1:00 PM
San Francisco at San Jose State - 1:00 PM
2 San Diego vs. Duke - 1:30 PM
Gonzaga at Montana - 2:00 PM
1 Cal Tournament; 2 WCC/ACC adidas Challenge
AROUND THE WCC
Decade of Dominance
Over the last 10 years, no conference in the country has had more College Cup participants than the WCC and the ACC. In the last decade, the WCC and the ACC have sent 11 teams into the national semifinals, four more than the next closest conference.
College Cup Appearances By Conferences Over The Last 10 Years (2006-1997)
11 - WCC (POR - 2005, 2002-00, 1998; SCU - 2004, 2002-01, 1999-1997)
11 - ACC (UNC - 2006, 2003-1996; FSU - 2006-05, 2003)
7 - Big East (ND - 2006, 2004, 2000, 1999, 1997; UCONN - 2003, 1997)
5 - Pac-10 (UCLA - 2006-03, 2000)
3 - Big Ten (Penn State - 2005, 2002, 1999)
2 - SEC (Florida - 2001, 1998)
1 - Ivy League (Princeton - 2004)
The WCC: The Elite Conference 15 Years Running
The Portland Pilots advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, marking the 15th consecutive season that the WCC has had at least one representatitve in the NCAA Quarterfinals, by far the longest streak in the nation.
Active Consecutive Conference NCAA Quarterfinal Appearances (Elite Eight)
WCC - 15
Big Ten - 9
Pac-10 - 7
Big East - 5
ACC - 2
Big 12 - 1
The WCC: The New Home Of The National Championship?
Over the last six seasons, no conference has dominated women's soccer like the West Coast Conference. Despite having enrollments that are a fraction of most conferences, the WCC has been the home of three of the last six national champions, the most by any conference during that span. Santa Clara claimed the 2001 national title, while conference rival Portland was crowned national champions in 2002 and 2005.
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. 4 in the RPI. The 2006 season marked the WCC's sixth consecutive season ranked in the RPI top 5.
West Coast Conference RPI Rankings By Year
2006 - 4th
2005 - 3rd
2004 - 3rd
2003 - 5th
2002 - 2nd
2001 - 2nd
WCC Ranked No. 4 In Conference Recruiting Ranking
WCC teams continue to bring in top talent as the league was ranked fourth out of 31 Division I conferences in overall recruiting classes, according to Soccer Buzz. Santa Clara leads the way as the Broncos bring in the No. 6 rated class, followed closely by Portland (No. 7) and Pepperdine (No. 15).
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga was picked to finish sixth in the 2007 WCC preseason coaches poll.
- The Bulldogs return six seniors for the 2007 campaign, including two-time All-WCC selection Lauren Zuckerman. Zuckerman was an All-WCC honorable mention selection in 2005 and earned second team honors last season.
- Also returning for the Zags are a pair of all-conference honorable mention picks from the 2006 season in defender Nanda McCormick and forward/midfielder Christine Soma.
- Midfielder Taylor Hall and goalkeeper Jessie Thalman, both of whom were named to the All-WCC freshman team a year ago, both return as well.
- The Zags open the season hosting Idaho (8/31).
Loyola Marymount (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The Lions were selected fifth in the WCC preseason coaches poll.
- The Lions enjoyed a successcul 2006 campaign, posting a 10-3-6 overall record and 2-1-4 in the WCC en route to their second NCAA Tournament appearance.
- First-year head coach Joe Mallia takes over a squad that returns eight starters, including the 2006 WCC Defensive Player of the Year in senior goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek. Slovek led the WCC with eight shutouts last season, with five of those coming in conference play.
- The Lions also return All-WCC second team member Jamie Bell, their leading scorer with seven goals from last season, and sophomores Kim Feeney (All-WCC honorable mention) and Tiffany Harrison (All-WCC freshman team).
- The Lions open their season at UCSB (8/31) before hosting Dayton (9/2).
Pepperdine Waves (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Pepperdine, which finished third in the WCC last season, was picked third in the 2007 WCC preseason coaches poll.
- Pepperdine returns eight starters and 21 letterwinners from last season's team that posted an 11-6-3 overall record.
- The Waves welcome in arguably the highest rated recruiting class in program history as the incoming class is ranked as the 15th best in the nation and the fifth best in the West Region, according to Soccer Buzz.
- Juniors Kelsey Baker and Emily Wynne were named to the 2006 All-WCC second team, while Sophia Medina and Courtney Price were selected to the all-freshman team.
- The Waves take on Duke (8/31) at the WCC/ACC Challenge hosted by San Diego.
Portland Pilots (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The Pilots return nine starters and 14 letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a 17-4-3 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.
- Senior Angie Woznuk and junior Megan Rapinoe have been named to the Soccer Buzz Preseason All-America Team. The Pilots, North Carolina, UCLA and Texas are the only programs with multiple representatives.
- The Pilots will go at least the first month of the season without three-time All-American Stephanie Lopez, who was the only collegian named to the USA Women's National Team roster for the 2007 World Cup.
- The Pilots, who welcome in the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation according to Soccer Buzz, open the season by hosting No. 6 Florida State (9/1).
Saint Mary's Gaels (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Second-year Head Coach Kelly Lindsey returns seven starters and 13 letterwinners overall from last season's squad.
- With no seniors on the roster, the Gaels will look to two All-WCC honorable mention selections in juniors Stefani Rocco (2005) and Mallory Lee (2006) for leadership.
- Sophomore forward Allie Weiner returns as the Gaels' leading scorer from last season after scoring eight points on three goals and two assists
- Sophomore Tara Larson returns as the only goalkeeper that was on the roster for the 2006 campaign. Larson should be the front-runner to start in goal, but freshman Cari Makino from Honolulu, HI will make a strong push to take over the starting job between the pipes.
- The Gaels take on Colorado College (8/31) and Columbia (9/2) at the Cal Tournament.
San Diego Toreros (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- San Diego, which was selected to finish fourth in the WCC in the preseason coaches poll, welcomes back 18 letterwinners and eight starters from last season's squad that posted a 12-8-0 overall record.
- Highlighting the list of returners is All-WCC first-team honoree and All-NSCAA and Soccerbuzz West Region team member, senior midfielder Leigh Ann Robinson. Robinson enjoyed a break-out junior season, netting a career-high and team-best nine goals, to go along with seven assists for a team-leading 25 points.
- The Toreros should get a boost from San Diego State transfer Jen Mello. Mello, a junior forward, led the Aztecs in scoring for the past two seasons, scoring eight goals in each season, and was selected as an All-Mountain West Conference performer both seasons.
- USD hosts Wake Forest (8/31) and Duke (9/2) in the WCC/ACC Challenge.
San Francisco Dons (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Mark Carr was named the Dons new head coach on February 5, 2007. Carr spent four highly successful seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA, helping the Bruins to four consecutive Pac-10 titles, and four College Cup berths, highlighted by two Championship Finals.
- San Francisco returns 16 letterwinners and eight starters from its 2006 squad, which posted a shocking 2-0 shutout of No. 22 Pepperdine and deadlocked No. 4 Portland 1-1 at Merlo Field in the Rose City.
- The Dons return four players who earned All-WCC honorable mention status last season in senior defender Kara Breithaupt, and juniors, defender Jessica Duty, midfielder Katherine Kimure, and goalkeeper Katie Hodgson.
- USF opens the season at San Jose State (9/2).
Santa Clara Broncos (0-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara opens the season ranked No. 8 in the preseason NSCAA/adidas poll.
- The Broncos, picked to finish second in the WCC preseason coaches poll, captured their ninth WCC title in 2006 and were rewarded with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- SCU welcomes back All-WCC first team members Meagan Snell and Kiki Bosio. Snell, named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List, led the Broncos with 11 goals, while Bosio, a sophomore forward, led SCU with eight assists in her rookie season.
- The Broncos bring in the sixth ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to Soccer Buzz, headlined by All-American Jessie Baddley, who is ranked the No. 6 incoming freshman.
- Santa Clara opens the season by hosting San Jose State (8/31).