Women's Soccer Picked to Win the Mountain West
Aug 15, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The San Diego State women's soccer team has been picked by the league's 11 head coaches to win the Mountain West, the conference announced Thursday afternoon. The Aztecs enter the 2013 campaign as the defending regular-season and tournament champions.
SDSU, the clear-cut preseason favorite, received nine of 11 first-place votes and 99 points overall to finish atop the poll. New Mexico landed in second place with 86 points and one first-place consideration. UNLV, meanwhile, garnered the final first-place tally and finished in a tie for third place with Utah State as both programs earned 77 points.
In fifth place was Boise State with 61 points, followed by Fresno State (52), Wyoming (45), Nevada (43) and San José State (31). Rounding out the poll were Air Force (20) and Colorado State (12) in 10th and 11th place, respectively.
San Diego State, which is ranked 11th in the preseason NSCAA poll, returns a strong nucleus that includes the reigning MW Defensive Player of the Year in Haley Palmer and three first-team all-league choices from a season ago (Palmer, Carli Johnson, Hannah Keane). As a whole, 2012 MW Coach of the Year Mike Friesen welcomes back 16 letterwinners and seven starters.
Last season, the Aztecs enjoyed the finest season in program history, going 21-2-1 to share the nation's best record with Stanford. In conference play, SDSU went a perfect 7-0 en route to the regular-season crown before capturing the MW tournament championship. With both titles in their pocket, the Aztecs entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed and advanced to the Sweet 16.
The preseason favorites will be in action on Friday when they travel to Orange County to face Cal State Fullerton in an exhibition set for 6 p.m. PT. San Diego State will open the season officially on Aug. 23, when it takes on USC at nearby University of San Diego at 5 p.m. PT.