Puget Sound Favored Again in Women’s Soccer

2012 NWC Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Poll:

2011 records

School

(1st)

Pts.

All

NWC

1. Puget Sound (Wash.)

(6)

66

14-3-3

12-2-2

2. Linfield (Ore.)

(3)

62

14-3-3

11-2-3

3. Whitworth (Wash.)

 

46

8-6-4

8-4-4

Willamette (Ore.)

 

46

11-8-1

10-5-1

5. Pacific (Ore.)

 

36

10-6-4

7-5-4

6. Whitman (Wash.)

 

28

8-10-2

6-8-2

7. Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)

 

21

4-13-1

3-12-1

8. George Fox (Ore.)

 

15

2-12-6

2-10-4

9. Lewis & Clark (Ore.)

 

13

3-15-2

2-13-1

(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches cannot vote for their own team)

The University of Puget Sound is favored to build upon its decade of dominance in Northwest Conference women's soccer, according to the 2012 preseason poll of conference coaches. UPS received six out of nine first place votes and is pursuing its eleventh consecutive NWC title.

The Loggers, who tallied 66 points in the poll, will be lead by junior goalkeeper Kara Merfeld, the lone First Team All-NWC honoree returning from last season. She will get help from sophomore forward Robin Vieira, who received Second Team All-NWC honors last season.

Linfield took second in the poll with 62 points, including the remaining three first place votes.  The Wildcats will be led by midfielder Christine Tamamoto and the 2010 NWC Offensive Player of the Year Emily Fellows, who had seven goals in six games in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury.

Whitworth and Willamette each tallied 46 points to tie for third in the poll.  The Pirates welcome back two senior Second Team All-NWC selections in defender Kelsey Griswold and midfielder Mackenzie Grow.  Willamette will be led by 2011 Coach of the Year Hillary Arthur and senior midfielder Andi Rowan, who has received Second Team All-NWC the past three seasons.

Pacific (Ore.) finishes fifth in the poll with 36 points.  The Boxers return several starters from last season, including senior Brittany Hartmann and sophomore Kailee Green.

Whitman and Pacific Lutheran follow in sixth and seventh place with 28 and 21 points, respectively.  Standout defender Erin Flannery will lead Whitman.  

George Fox (15 points) is eighth. Melanie Gaither, who led the team with eight goals in 2011, will be back. 

Lewis & Clark rounds out the poll with 13 points. The Pioneers will look to senior Honorable Mention All-NWC selections Traci Nakamura and Gina Watkins for leadership.

The 2012 NWC season gets underway on August 31st

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