SANTA CLARA, Calif. (San Bruno, Calif.) – The Santa Clara men's soccer team was selected to finish second in the race for the 2014 West Coast Conference Championship, capturing 43 out of the 49 votes in the annual preseason poll of the WCC's eight coaches.
As the reigning 2013 WCC Champions, Loyola Marymount was selected as the favorite to win the conference for a second time in a row with just five points ahead of the Broncos while Portland looks to pick up third place.
"The preseason poll is a gage of what teams had good seasons and what teams are returning good players and impactful players in the program," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "I think LMU on top, having won the conference last year and returning such a large majority of their group, makes sense. They are a good group and a group we target ourselves as an important game. For us to be second, I think that's a recognition that we finished as the runner-up last year.
In 2013, Santa Clara finished the year with an 11-9 overall record while going 8-4 in conference.
"Traditionally, we have been amongst the top teams in our conference," commented Rast. "Even though we turned over a very good senior class last year, we have a talented group returning and added some very good players as well. Overall, I feel that second is probably the right place to be in terms of mentality for our guys that we haven't achieved anything and we have a lot to shoot for. It's a good place for us and makes sense for how the coaches voted."
The team graduated seven seniors and adds 10 new players to the 2014 roster. For the upcoming season, Rast is putting a lot of attention into his younger players' abilities to step up and fill more mature rolls.
"A lot of the players that were selected to the conference teams a year ago were our senior group and an impactful group," said Rast. "Not having a player on the preseason conference team just leaves everything out there for us to prove. Looking at the squad and comparing to other teams, I think there will be plenty of Santa Clara players in the All-Conference teams at the end of the season when it really matters."
Having officially reported for preseason training on Wed., Aug. 13, the Broncos are hard at work during double days in preparation for the first expedition of the season against San Jose State on Sat., Aug. 23 at 7pm in Buck Shaw Stadium.
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|Loyola Marymount (6)||48|
|Santa Clara (2)||43|
2014 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
|Miguel Aguilar||San Francisco||Sr.||F|
|Paul Blanchette||Loyola Marymount||Jr.||GK|
|Connor Brandt||San Diego||Sr.||M|
|Bobby Conner||Saint Mary's||Sr.||D|
|Torrey DeArmas||San Diego||Jr.||F|
|Sebastian De Rada||Loyola Marymount||Sr.||M|
|John McFarlin||Loyola Marymount||Sr.||M|
|Craig Nitti||Loyola Marymount||Sr.||D|
|Adrien Perez||Loyola Marymount||So.||M|
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