UCLA favored in bid for fifth straight Pac-10 title

UCLA, which reached the national semifinals in 2006, has been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2007 Pac-10 women's title by the Conference's coaches.

The Bruins, who are looking to become the first team to win five consecutive Pac-10 titles, received 75 points, including five first-place votes. Stanford and California earned the remaining first-place votes with three and two, respectively.

The UCLA women return nine starters from last season's team that advanced to the College Cup for the fourth year in a row, not to mention 2005 leading scorer Kara Lang, who missed 2006 with a knee injury. The Bruins return their top three scorers from last year -- Lauren Cheney (19 goals, 1 assist), Danesha Adams (12g, 4a) and Christina DiMartino (5g, 7a). This trio accounted for over half of UCLA's scoring total in 2006.

In addition to the vast talent returning, the Bruins also picked up the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, led by Parade All-Americans Lauren Barnes, Kylie Wright and Sarah Salazar. UCLA is looking to become the first school to win five consecutive Pac-10 titles.

Stanford finished second in the poll, garnering 72 points, six ahead of third-place California, which received 66 points.

PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL:
1. UCLA (5)  75
2.  Stanford (3)  72
3. California (2)   66
4. USC    58
5. Oregon    47
6.  Washington State  35
7.  Arizona State  32
8. Arizona    29
9.  Washington  27
10.  Oregon State  9
(First-place votes in parentheses.)

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