Cougs picked fifth in preseason poll
SAN FRANCISCO – Take two of the 2021 season has the Cougars picked to finish fifth in conference play according to the preseason coaches poll released Wednesday by the Pac-12 Conference office. Washington State and the rest of the Pac-12 begin a normal fall campaign after seeing their 2020 season shortened and pushed to the spring of 2021 due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Cougs were picked in the top-half of the conference for the third-straight season as they look to vie for the Pac-12 title and push their way back into the NCAA Tournament. The reigning Pac-12 champion Bruins of UCLA were selected to repeat as conference champs while USC and Stanford each received first place votes. Washington rounds out the top-four teams in the poll finishing just ahead of the Cougars.
WSU begins the 2021 fall season with one of its deepest rosters in recent memory with the five fifth-year seniors returning after the shortened spring campaign, headlined by 2020 leading scorer Elyse Bennett and 2019 all-region honoree Brianna Alger who returns from injury. Additionally, the Cougs added to their veteran depth with a trio of transfers including Sydney Studer, an All-Pac-12 and all-region honoree from Oregon State, as well as nine freshmen.
The season officially begins Aug. 19 at home at Lower Soccer Field when the Cougs host Arkansas State at 7 pm. Prior to the start of the regular season the Cougs will play one tune-up contest at Idaho Aug. 13.
2021 Pac-12 Women's Soccer Coaches Poll
Rank. School (First place votes) - Points
1. UCLA (7) - 116
2. USC (3) - 110
3. Stanford (2) - 106
4. Washington - 85
5. Washington State - 71
6. California - 68
7. Arizona State - 63
8. Colorado - 56
9. Oregon - 40
10. Arizona - 31
11. Utah - 30
12. Oregon State - 16