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Ogden, Utah (August 12, 2010) - The Big Sky Conference coaches have selected Northern Arizona as the favorite to win the 2010 soccer championship.
Of the eight head coaches in the league, six gave their first-place vote to the Lumberjacks, for a total of 48 points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Northern Arizona won its second straight conference title last season, beating tournament host Portland State on penalty kicks and then Idaho State in the championship match.
With 10 starters and 17 letterwinners returning this season, NAU looks to be one of the deepest teams in the league. Leading the squad will be First Team All-Conference selections Kristi Andreassen, Jenna Samora, and Brenna Boies.
Sacramento State finished second in the poll, collecting one first-place vote and 38 total points. The Hornets return five all-conference performers, including goalkeeper Savannah Abercrombie. The sophomore posted a .70 GAA last season, following up the 2008 season where her GAA was a miniscule .68.
Portland State, last season’s regular season champion, finished in third with 36 points and one first-place vote. Three seniors return including a fifth-year goalkeeper Rachel Jarvis, defender Emily Rohde, and forward/midfielder Frankie Ross. Last year Ross was second in scoring for the Vikings.
Weber State, Idaho State, Eastern Washington, Montana, and Northern Colorado round out the poll. Both Idaho State and Eastern Washington were conference tournament participants in 2009.
The first conference matches are slated for Oct. 7. The top four teams from the regular season will advance to the Big Sky Championship Nov. 4 & 7 at the site of the regular-season champion.
2010 Big Sky Soccer
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
|Team (First-Place Votes)
|1. Northern Arizona (6)
|2. Sacramento State (1)
|3. Portland State (1)
|4. Weber State
|5. Idaho State
|6. Eastern Washington
|8. Northern Colorado
Note: A first-place vote was worth seven points, a second-place vote worth six points, etc.