It's a Dead Heat in Women's Soccer
|NWC Women's Soccer Coaches' Pre-Season Poll:||2000 records|
|1. Puget Sound (Wash.) and|
|3. Whitworth (Wash.)||39||6-10-2||4-9-1|
|4. George Fox (Ore.)||36||13-5||11-3|
|5. Linfield (Ore.)||34||6-9-3||5-7-2|
|6. Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)||25||5-13||4-10|
|7. Pacific (Ore.)||23||5-11-1||4-10|
|8. Whitman (Wash.)||11||1-14-1||1-12-1|
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
Defending champion University of Puget Sound and perennial power Willamette University and Co-favorites for the Northwest Conference women's soccer title in 2001, according to a poll of conference coaches. Puget Sound won its first-ever NWC women's soccer title in 2000, while Willamette, which won or tied for the previous seven NWC championships, advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last season.
Puget Sound (15-2-1 overall, 13-1 NWC in 2000) finished a game ahead of Willamette last year. The Loggers are led by two-time NWC Coach of the Year Randy Hanson, and return Dusty Marcell and Briana Hultgren, a pair of All-NWC players who led the team in scoring last season with 11 goals apiece.
Willamette (19-3-1, 12-2) advanced through the NCAA West Regional before losing at Trinity University in the national quarterfinals. The Bearcats will again be led by 2000 NWC scoring leader Buffy Morris.
Whitworth College finished third in the poll, well behind the leaders with 39 points. The Pirates return eight starters from a year ago.
George Fox University, a key factor in the NWC title chase last season, finished fourth in the poll with 36 points. The Bruins must replace 2000 NWC Player of the Year Karli Holub as well as other key players.
Linfield, which finished fourth in the NWC last season, was picked fifth in the poll. The Wildcats lost First Team All-NWC player Cherish Kaaa.
Pacific Lutheran University, Pacific University and Whitman College rounded out the coaches' poll in sixth - eighth places.