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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - BYU along with instate rival Utah were selected to share the 2007 Mountain West Conference women's soccer title in the preseason poll released today by the conference office.
The Cougars and Utes collected 46 points and four first-place votes apiece to capture the top spot in the poll voted on by the coaches. In last season's regular season race BYU finished second with a 4-1-2 conference mark and also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. In the 2007 season, the team returns 20 letterwinners and 10 starters, including four first-team all-conference members and the Co-Freshman of the Year, Andrea Willis.
The 2007 MWC Women's Soccer Championship will take place on the BYU campus, Nov. 7-10.
n the first preseason poll of the women's soccer season, the BYU women's soccer team is ranked 23rd by Soccer Buzz Magazine's Top 30.
The Cougars (13-3-4) are also 7th in the West Region. In last year's poll, BYU finished the year ranked 22nd by Soccer Buzz Magazine.
Two of the team's 2007 opponents, Colorado and Long Beach State, are ranked 21st and 25th respectively.
The team returns 10 starters from last season including All-American junior forward Katie Larkin and First Team All-Conference goalkeeper Erika Woodbury. Woodbury finished her junior season ranked 13th nationally in goals against average (GAA) 0.524. Both players were recently selected to compete on the U.S. National Select Women's Team by the United States Adult Soccer Association.
The 23rd ranked Cougars open the season on a three-game road swing to Michigan State (Aug.31), Kansas (Sept. 6) and 21st ranked Colorado (Sept. 8). The home opener is slated for Sat., Sept. 11 when 25th ranked Long Beach State comes to South Stadium in a 7 p.m. kick off.
Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll
Pl. Team (1st place votes) - Points
T1. BYU (4) - 46
T1. Utah (4) - 46
3. UNLV - 37
4. San Diego State - 29
5. New Mexico - 23
6. TCU - 20
7. Wyoming - 15 8. Air Force - 7