Santa Clara Edges Pepperdine In WCC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
Santa Clara and Pepperdine each claimed five first-place votes
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 19 Santa Clara each earned five first-place votes in the 2018 West Coast Conference women's soccer preseason poll, but the Broncos edged the Waves by one point overall to be named the favorite to claim the title in the annual preseason poll of the WCC's head coaches.
Santa Clara earned 77 points to go with five first-place votes while defending regular season champion Pepperdine finished one point behind with 76 points despite also tallying five first-place votes.
The Broncos and Waves both advanced to the second week of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Broncos won two games en route to the Round of 16 while the Waves advanced to the second round.
The preseason poll marks the second consecutive year that two teams evenly split first-place votes. In the 2017 preseason poll, Santa Clara and BYU both garnered five votes each with the Broncos edging the Cougars also by a single point.
This season, BYU comes in third with 66 points, followed by a surging San Diego program that is picked fourth with 52 points going into the second year of Louise Lieberman's tenure.
Loyola Marymount has been picked fifth with 49 points with San Francisco coming in at sixth with 40 points. Just one point separates seventh and eighth as well as ninth and 10th in the poll, beginning with Portland being selected seventh with 32 points to begin the Michelle French era. Gonzaga follows in eighth with 31 points in the second year under Chris Watkins. Saint Mary's (14 points) and Pacific (13 points) round out the preseason poll.
Seven programs placed at least one student-athlete on the 11-member preseason All-West Coast Conference Team, an increase from the six programs represented last season. Pepperdine and Santa Clara led all with three representatives each, including the returning Defensive Player of the Year (Hailey Harbison, Pepperdine), Goalkeeper of the Year (Brielle Preece, Pepperdine) and Freshman of the Year (Kelsey Turnbow, Santa Clara).
Brigham Young, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Portland and San Diego were also represented on the preseason squad.
The preseason poll and All-WCC team were selected solely by a vote of the conference's 10 head coaches.
The 2018 campaign begins with Pacific travelling to George Washington on Thursday, Aug. 16 with the remaining nine teams starting play on Friday, Aug. 17.
2018 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes) - Points
1. Santa Clara (5) - 77
2. Pepperdine (5) - 76
3. BYU - 66
4. San Diego - 52
5. Loyola Marymount - 49
6. San Francisco - 40
7. Portland - 32
8. Gonzaga - 31
9. Saint Mary's - 14
10. Pacific - 13
2018 ALL-WCC PRESEASON WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM
Name Institution Yr. Pos.
Joelle Anderson Pepperdine Soph. M/F
Mikayla Colohan Brigham Young Soph. M
Julie Doyle Santa Clara Soph. F
Maddy Gonzalez Santa Clara Jr. F
Madeline Gotta Gonzaga Jr. F
Hailey Harbison Pepperdine R-Sr. D/F
Kimberly Hazlett Portland Jr. M/F
Summer Mason San Diego Sr. M/F
Brielle Preece Pepperdine R-Sr. GK
Kelsey Turnbow Santa Clara Soph. F
Emma Tyrnauer Loyola Marymount R-Sr. M