[BIG WEST; Women]Cal State Fullerton, the 2012 regular-season champion, has been selected as the preseason favorite to capture the 2013 Big West women’s soccer title.
The Titans received five first-place votes in balloting among the Big West’s nine head coaches for a total of 72 points. Long Beach State and UC Irvine collected one first-place vote apiece and tied for second in the poll with 62 points.
The remaining two first-place botes went to Cal Poly, which placed fourth with 59 points. Cal State Northridge, the 2012 Big West Tournament champion, collected 54 points for fifth place. UC Santa Barbara (30 points), Hawai‘i (27), UC Davis (22) and UC Riverside (17) rounded out the preseason poll.
Fullerton returns five starters from a 2012 squad that finished 10-9-1 overall and captured the program’s sixth Big West regular-season title – and first since 2007 – with a 7-2 mark.
Sophomore forward Christina Burkenroad, junior forward Rebecca Wilson, junior midfielder Chelsey Patterson and senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic are among the returnees expected to anchor the Titans' quest for another crown in 2013.
Long Beach State’s returning cast includes second-team all-conference picks Eileen Maes and Taylor Nelson. UC Irvine’s six returning starters are headlined by two-time All-Big West first-team performer Natalia Ledezma.
Besides Patterson, Maes, Nelson and Ledezma, coaches also voted the following players on the preseason all-conference team: Long Beach State's Elizabeth Lyons, Cal Poly's Sara Epps and Elise Kreighoff, Cal State Northridge's Taylor Hobson and Chloe McDaniel, UC Irvine's Cami Privett, Ashley Edwards of UC Davis and Hawaii’s Tiana Fujimoto.