Soccer America releases preseason poll and all-Americans
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Three teams and three players represented the Pac-12 in Soccer America’s Preseason Poll and Preseason All-America list announced this week. UCLA, STANFORD and CALIFORNIA were all ranked in the top-25, with the Bruins holding the No. 3 spot, the Cardinal at No. 4 and the Bears at No. 18. The preseason All-America list includes UCLA’s Abby Dahlkemper and Stanford’s Emily Oliver and Taylor Uhl.
The Bruins were the 2012 Conference runner-ups and were tabbed by Pac-12 coaches as league favorites in 2013. Abby Dahlkemper is one of seven returnees for the Bruins that appeared on the all-Conference list at the conclusion of last season, the most of any team in the Pac-12. Dahlkemper, a junior defender for the Bruins, is a two-time All-American and All-Pac-12 performer that led UCLA to an appearance in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The four-time defending Pac-12 Champion Cardinal return six starters from a 2012 team that went 21-2-1 and reached the NCAA College Cup semifinals. Senior goalkeeper Emily Oliver, a three-time all-Conference keeper and 2011 All-American, will be a four-year starter with a national championship in 2011. The Cardinal’s Taylor Uhl has yet to play a game in a Stanford uniform, but as the nation’s points leader in 2012 she is expected to make an immediate impact after transferring from Minnesota. Uhl, a junior forward, was granted a release after the conclusion of the season and is eligible to play immediately for the Cardinal.
California finished third in the Conference last season and are picked to finish in the same position in 2013. With sophomore standout and 2012 Pac-12 Freshmen of the year Ifeoma Onumonu back, the Bears can challenge the Cardinal and Bruins for the Conference title in 2013.
For the full Preseason All-America list, visit www.socceramerica.com.
2. Penn State
5. Notre Dame
6. Florida State
9. Santa Clara
10. Wake Forest
11. San Diego State
16. Texas A&M
19. West Virginia