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Stanford gets Pac-10 nod over UCLA
by Paul Kennedy, August 14th, 2009 8AM
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WOMEN'S COLLEGE SOCCER ... The women's conference polls are out. But before we forget ...

* Soccer America's Women's Preseason Top 25 will appear in Soccer America Daily on Tuesday and our Women's Preseason All-Americans will appear in Wednesday's Daily. The Men's Preseason Top 25 will be released on Aug. 25 followed by the Men's Preseason All-Americans a day later.

* Here's how the women's coaches see things in a few of the major conferences ...

* PAC-10. UCLA won its fourth straight conference title -- perfect at 9-0-0 -- and advanced to the College Cup for the sixth straight year, but Stanford gets the nod (by points) in the preseason poll.

Stanford is loaded with Kelley O'Hara, Christen Press and Lindsay Taylor (45 goals between them last year) up front, Teresa Noyola and Camille Levin in midfield and New Zealand international Ali Riley on the backline -- plus a pair of former U.S. U-17 stars Rachel Quon and Courtney Verloo joining them.

Pac-10 Women's Poll
1. Stanford (6)  78
2. UCLA (4)  76
3. USC    61
4. California  58
5. Washington  46
6. Washington State 45
7. Arizona State  29
8. Oregon   27
9. Oregon State  16
10. Arizona   14

* ACC. Unanimous. Defending national champion North Carolina, winner of 20 of 22 conference titles, is picked to win.

Nine starters are back from last year's that beat Notre Dame, 2-1, in the final, and they don't include Nikki Washington and Meghan Klingenberg, who departed for the Under-20 Women's World Cup.

Despite the loss of Yael Averbuch and Allie Long, who both moved on to WPS, the Heels are loaded with attacking threats, beginning with Casey Nogueira, whose two goals in the final were both world class, according to Coach Anson Dorrance, and gave her the national scoring titles for points (58) and goals (25).

Pac-10 Women's Poll
1. North Carolina (11), 121 points
2. Florida State, 109 points
3. Boston College, 96 points
4. Virginia, 88 points
5. Duke, 76 points
6. Wake Forest, 66 points
7. Virginia Tech, 51 points
8. Maryland, 42 points
9. Miami, 41 points
10. Clemson, 19 points
11. NC State, 17 points

* BIG EAST. Notre Dame and West Virginia get to nod to win their respective divisions. Preseason player awards: Offensive Player of the Year (Melissa Henderson, Notre Dame) Defensive Player of the Year (Brittany Taylor, Connecticut) and Goalkeeper of the Year (Erin Guthrie, Rutgers).

Big East Women's Poll
1. West Virginia (13) 118
2. Connecticut (3)  104
3. Marquette 95
4. St. John's 74
5. USF 57
6. Pittsburgh 49
7. Syracuse 46   
8. Providence 24
1. Notre Dame (15)  120
2. Rutgers (1) 101
3. Georgetown 91
4. Louisville 79
5. Villanova 62
6. Cincinnati 56
7. Seton Hall 36
8. DePaul   23

Big East Women's Preseason Team
Courtney Barg, So., F/M, Notre Dame
*Carolyn Blank, Sr., M, West Virginia
*Gina DeMaio, Sr., M, Rutgers
Kelly Eagan, Sr., D, Villanova
Lauren Fowlkes, Jr., D/M, Notre Dame
Erin Guthrie, Sr., GK, Rutgers
*Melissa Henderson, So., F, Notre Dame
Megan Mischler, Jr., F, West Virginia
Kacey Richards, Jr., M, Connecticut
Courtney Rosen, Sr., F/M, Notre Dame
Brittany Taylor, R-Sr., D/F/M, Connecticut
*Ingrid Wells, R-So., M, Georgetown
Annie Yi, Sr., M, Connecticut

* BIG TEN. Coaches picked Penn State to win a record 12th straight Big Ten title.

Penn State, which is seeking its 12th straight Big Ten title, welcome back All-American goalie Alyssa Naeher, while Christine Nairn, Naeher's teammate on the U.S. U-20s, delayed her arrival in Happy Valley to play in Chile. Since then, the left-footed Nairn has been capped on the senior national team, making her the first U-20 to earn that honor.
Big Ten Women's Poll
1. Penn State
2. Michigan State
3. Illinois
4. Purdue
5. Ohio State
5. Minnesota
7. Wisconsin
8. Indiana
9. Northwestern
11. Iowa
11. Michigan

* BIG 12. Texas A&M, which reached the NCAA quarterfinals, and Missouri, last year's Big 12 champion, tied for the first in the preseason poll. Here's a rare one: A&M had two goalies -- juniors Kristin Arnold and Kelly Dyer -- on the preseason all-conference team.

Big 12 Women's Poll
1.  Texas A&M (6) 91
1. Missouri (4)  91
3.  Colorado   76
4.  Oklahoma State (1) 68
5.  Texas 66
6. Kansas     59
7.  Nebraska   53
8.  Texas Tech  39
9.  Oklahoma   28
10. Baylor 20
11. Iowa State   14

Big 12 Women's Preseason Team
GK  Ann Gleason   Iowa State
GK  Kristin Arnold   Texas A&M
GK  Kelly Dyer     Texas A&M
D   Caroline Danneberg  Colorado
D   Crystal Wagner Missouri
D   Carly Peetz    Nebraska
D   Melinda Mercado Oklahoma State
D   Erica Campanelli Texas
D   Bri Young     Texas A&M
MF  Meghan Pfeiffer Missouri
MF  Siera Strawser  Oklahoma State
MF  Beth West     Texas A&M
F   Nikki Marshall  Colorado
F   Kristin Andrighetto    Missouri
F   Whitney Palmer Oklahoma
F   Kasey Langdon Oklahoma State
* WCC. Portland, no surprise here, is picked to repeat. The Pilots have four players on the all-WCC preseason team: Kelsey Davis, Michelle Enyeart, Danielle Foxhoven and Sophie Schmidt.

WCC Women's Poll
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. San Diego - 41
3. Santa Clara - 38 (1)
4. Pepperdine - 29
5. Loyola Marymount - 28
6. Gonzaga - 16
7. San Francisco - 12
8. Saint Mary's - 11

WCC Women's Preseason Team
Kiki Bosio, Santa Clara
Laura Cole, Pepperdine
Kelsey Davis, Portland
Michelle Enyeart, Portland
Danielle Foxhoven, Portland
Sheridan Jones, Gonzaga
Dani Potts, Santa Clara
Katherine Reynolds, Santa Clara
Sophie Schmidt, Portland
Lily Sorentino, Loyola Marymount
Jackie Zinke, San Diego

* For the fifth consecutive season, the NSCAA College Game of the Week will appear on Fox Soccer Channel: eight women's and 12 men's matches. West Coast fans will like these women's matchups: Oct. 30 -- UCLA-USC, Nov. 1 -- Santa Clara-Portland, Nov. 8 -- Stanford-California.

* It was the Irish against the Irish Tuesday night in Indianapolis. Ellen Jantsch gave Notre Dame a 1-0 exhibition victory over the touring Ireland national team before a crowd of approximately 2,000 fans at Kuntz Stadium.

* Sad news for Duke's Ashley Rape. The 2008 Freshman All-American re-tore the same ACL she injured last season and had surgery on Friday. She will miss the 2009 season.

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