WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - In a polling of the Conference’s 12 women’s soccer coaches, STANFORD was selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2012 Pac-12 title. The defending NCAA champions collected 120 points and nine of 11 possible first-place votes. UCLA and CALIFORNIA are tabbed to finish second and third in the Conference, respectively.
The Cardinal, which looks to win its fourth-consecutive Pac-12 title, returns seven starters, including All-America goalkeeper Emily Oliver. UCLA, under the direction of second-year head coach B.J. Snow, claimed 111 points and two first-place votes, while Cal received 93 points to place third in the poll. The Bruins return 11 starters from a squad that lost just one game in Snow's first year at the helm.
OREGON STATE finished fourth in the balloting, picking up 86 points, and WASHINGTON’s 75 points were good for fifth place. ARIZONA STATE edged out USC by four points to place sixth, while the Trojans were picked seventh.
WASHINGTON STATE, which advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and UTAH each collected 49 points to finish tied for eighth place in the poll. The Utes return eight starters from a team that finished comfortably in the top half of the Pac-12 a year ago. OREGON, COLORADO and ARIZONA rounded out the poll, finishing 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.
The 2012 season kicks off August 17-19. The Pac-12 Networks will televise 58 live women’s soccer contests, including more than 40 appearances from 2011 NCAA Tournament-qualifying teams. The schedule kicks off with defending NCAA champion Stanford hosting perennial power Santa Clara in the Pac-12 Networks’ first-ever live event production.
2012 PAC-12 WOMEN’S SOCCER COACHES POLL
1. Stanford (10) 120
2. UCLA (2) 111
3. California 93
4. Oregon State 86
5. Washington 75
6. Arizona State 70
7. USC 66
8. Utah 49
8. Washington State 49
10. Oregon 36
11. Colorado 25
12. Arizona 12