Coaches Designate UC Santa Barbara As Preseason Poll Favorite
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2010 Big West Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches Poll
UC Santa Barbara earned four first-place votes and 75 total points as the favorite to win the 2010 Big West women's soccer championship, according to the results of a poll voted on by the league's nine coaches today.
The Gauchos return eight starters and 21 letterwinners from the 2009 squad that captured a second consecutive Big West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament automatic berth. The crop of returning talent is led by 2009 Big West Offensive Player of the Year Kailyn Kugler, who contributed 23 points on nine goals and five assists. Kugler is joined by senior teammates and fellow first team all-conference honorees Kylie McDonald and Jacqui Simon. McDonald ranked second in the Big West with seven assists in helping the Gauchos finish 9-10-3 overall.
This is the third straight year the coaches have assigned UCSB the favorite's role in the women’s soccer race. The Gauchos tied for third in 2009 and finished second in 2008, but claimed the Big West's automatic NCAA bid both years by virtue of winning the conference tournament.
The coaches predicted a tight race as only three points separated the second through fourth positions.
Cal Poly, the 2009 Big West regular season champion, garnered two first-place votes and 61 points for second place. Despite losing three first team all-conference standouts to graduation, the Mustangs return a pair of All-Big West Second Team performers in Morgan Miller and Julie McKee. Cal Poly also welcomes back 2008 Big West Defensive Player of the Year Carrie Andrews to anchor the conference's stingiest defensive squad. The Mustangs led the Big West with a 0.78 goals against average in 2009.
UC Irvine also received two first-place votes and collected 60 points for third place. The Anteaters were the Big West's most potent offensive team last season with 37 goals. The trio of Mar Rodriguez, Dana Sanderlin and Devon Delarosa scored a combined 15 of those goals as freshmen. Senior Tanya Taylor tied Sanderlin for team-high goal scoring honors with six. Meanwhile, Rodriguez just finished a stint with the Mexican National Team for the Women’s U20 World Cup. The Anteaters also boast the return of all-conference first team selection Judy Christopher and senior Danielle de Seriere, a three-year starting goalkeeper.
In fourth place with 58 points and the remaining first-place vote is Pacific. The Tigers return 2009 Big West Midfielder of the Year Angelica Figueroa, who led the Big West with eight assists and added six goals. Pacific also brings back a lethal offensive weapon in sophomore Maricela Padilla. She finished fifth in the Big West in points (18) with eight goals and two assists despite missing the final seven games with a knee injury.
Cal State Northridge finished fifth with 45 points. Long Beach State followed in sixth with 44 points and Cal State Fullerton was seventh (34). Rounding out the poll was UC Riverside with 15 points and UC Davis with 13.
The 2010 season begins on Friday, August 20.
2010 Big West Women’s Soccer
Preseason Coaches Poll
No. School Pts.
1. UC Santa Barbara (4) 75
2. Cal Poly (2) 61
3. UC Irvine (2) 60
4. Pacific (1) 58
5. Cal State Northridge 45
6. Long Beach State 44
7. Cal State Fullerton 34
8. UC Riverside 15
9. UC Davis 13
( ) First-place votes