Pac-10 Coaches Pick Stanford as 2008 Women's Soccer Preseason Favorite

Aug. 12, 2008

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Just six points separate the top three teams in the coaches' preseason poll, but the STANFORD Cardinal have been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2008 Pac-10 women's soccer title in a vote by the Conference coaches. This marks the first time since 2003 that a team other than UCLA has been picked to win the Pac-10 championship, as the Cardinal were also the favorite in that same season.

Stanford, which tallied 76 points and six first-place votes, is coming off a campaign in which it finished tied for third in the Pac-10 with 18 points from a 5-1-3 Conference record (15-3-5, overall). The Cardinal advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, blowing out Sacramento State, 7-0, and defeating CALIFORNIA, 1-1 (7-6), along the way.

Five-time defending Pac-10 champion UCLA picked up 73 points and three first-place votes to take second place in the preseason poll. The Bruins, who went undefeated at 9-0-0 in the Conference last season, advanced to the NCAA College Cup for the fifth straight time.

As impressive as UCLA and Stanford were last season, the Cinderella story was the USC Trojans who finished second in the Pac-10 at 6-2-1, earning a record-breaking 20-3-2 overall mark to claim the Pac-10 and USC's first-ever women's soccer national championship. The Women of Troy have been tabbed as the third team in the Conference, racking up 70 points and one first-place vote.

California finished fourth in the poll, garnering 57 points, while ARIZONA STATE and WASHINGTON STATE both earned 44 points for a tie for fifth place. OREGON finished with 29 points, followed by WASHINGTON, which came in eighth with 25 points. ARIZONA (21) and OREGON STATE (11) rounded out the poll.

The 2008 Pac-10 women's soccer season kicks off on Fri., Aug. 22, when Arizona State, Oregon State, USC and Washington State all take to the field.

Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):

2008 Pac-10 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

1. Stanford (6) 762. UCLA (3) 733. USC (1) 704. California 575. Arizona State 44 Washington State 447. Oregon 298. Washington 259. Arizona 2110. Oregon State 11

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