Puget Sound Big Favorite For Eighth Straight Women's Soccer Crown

Puget Sound Big Favorite For Eighth Straight Women's Soccer Crown
2009 NWC Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Poll: 2008 records
School (1st) Pts. All NWC
1. Puget Sound (Wash.) (9) 90 18-2 16-0
2. Whitworth (Wash.)   69 15-4-1 11-4-1
3. Whitman (Wash.)   60 11-7-1 9-6-1
4. Willamette (Ore.)   58 12-8 10-6
5. George Fox (Ore.)   42 12-8 8-8
6. Pacific (Ore.)   35 5-14-1 4-11-1
6. Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)   29 5-11-3 4-10-2
8. Linfield (Ore.)   19 6-14 4-12
9. Lewis & Clark (Ore.)   12 4-12-4 3-12-1
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).

Northwest Conference coaches made Puget Sound the unanimous favorite to win the 2009 women's soccer championship.  The Loggers are aiming for an NWC-record eighth straight title.

Puget Sound picked up all nine first place votes for a maximum of 90 points in the poll.  The Loggers can break a tie with Willamette for most consecutive NWC titles in women's soccer.  Willamette won or shared seven straight between 1993 and 1999, while Puget Sound has won or shared the last seven in a row.

The Loggers, who finished 18-2 overall and ran through the NWC at 16-0 last season, return three-time NWC Offensive Player of the Year Janece Levien, but graduated 2008 NWC Defensive MVP Nikki Graff.

Whitworth is second in the poll with 69 points.  First Team All-NWC midfielder Lindsey Oakes will lead the Pirates, who have finished as conference runners-up the last two seasons.  Daman Hagerott, who coached the Pirates to their last NWC championship in 1995, returns as head coach of the Bucs this fall.

Whitman (60 points) finished just ahead of Willamette (58) for third place in the poll, reversing the teams' finish in last season's standings. First Team All-NWC keeper Courtney Porter and forward Corina Gabbert will lead Whitman.  Junior midfielder Alex Baxter was an honorable mention All-NWC midfielder last year at Willamette.

George Fox is fifth in the poll with 42 points. The Bruins welcome back First Team All-NWC midfielder Kirsten Cardwell.

Pacific (Ore.) totaled 35 points while Pacific Lutheran had 29 points for sixth and seventh in the poll, respectively.  Junior midfielder Jenny Novak was a Second Team All-NWC choice for Pacific last year.  Sophomore defender Jordan Daniels will lead the PLU back line this fall.

Linfield is eighth (19 points), while Lewis & Clark (12) is ninth in the poll. New head coach Dominic Doty will aim to turn the fortunes of Linfield, while senior defender Liska Havel leads L&C after earning Second Team All-NWC honors last year.

The 2009 NWC season gets underway on August 29th.