July 26, 2005
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer program has been picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference, according to a preseason poll selected by the league's coaches. The Broncos, who have captured four straight league titles and eight overall, received one first-place vote.
Portland was selected as the favorite to take home the 2005 WCC regular season title. The Pilots, who return nine starters from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinal, received first-place votes from the league's seven other coaches. Santa Clara, which advanced to the 2004 College Cup, returns seven starters, as well as seven All-WCC honorees from last season. The Broncos are followed in the poll by 2004 NCAA participants San Diego and Pepperdine. Rounding out this year's poll is Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and San Francisco.
Portland, which captured its first national championship in 2002, returns seniors Christine Sinclair and Lindsey Huie. Last season, Sinclair won the prestigious M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, given annually to the top collegiate soccer player, while also earning her second WCC Player of the Year honor. Huie earned her third consecutive All-America honor in 2004, scoring nine goals, while ranking third in the nation with 14 assists.
Santa Clara looks for a return trip to the College Cup, as the Broncos return 17 letterwinners, including senior defender Jessica Ballweg, a College Cup Defensive MVP who missed the 2004 season due to injury. Also returning are All-Conference standouts Tina Estrada, Marian Dalmy and Lauren Zealear.
San Diego finished third in the WCC last season and advanced to its sixth consecutive postseason. The Toreros return eight starters, including 2004 WCC Freshman of the Year Amy Epsten. The Waves, who return 20 letterwinners and eight starters, will be looking for their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Senior Lori Sims, a 2004 All-WCC first team selection, looks to guide Loyola Marymount to its fourth straight winning season, while Saint Mary's, which returns eight starters, looks to rebound from a disappointing 2004 season. Gonzaga and San Francisco both turned in solid campaigns, notching 11 and 10 wins, respectively.
The complete release can be found by clicking here.
WCC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
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