Pacific Lutheran Tops the Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll for the 2018 Season

Pacific Lutheran Tops the Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll for the 2018 Season

 

Rk.

Team

Pts.

2017 Final Record (NWC)

1

Pacific Lutheran

63 (7)

13-2-1

2

Puget Sound

55 (2)

11-3-2

3

Whitworth

53

11-3-2

T-4

Linfield

38

7-7-2

T-4

Willamette

38

10-4-2

6

George Fox

31

6-8-2

7

Whitman

18

2-12-2

8

Lewis & Clark

15

2-12-2

9

Pacific (Ore.)

13

1-12-3

(Points awarded on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches could not vote for their own teams; numbers in parentheses indicate first place votes)

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran was selected as the top team in the Northwest Conference entering the 2018 women's soccer season with 63 points, as voted on by conference coaches.

The Lutes finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 17-3-2 and a conference record of 13-2-1, placing first in regular season conference standings and earning the automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament. The Lutes' first place standing marked the second straight year of outscoring historically successful Puget Sound and advancing to the NCAA Championship.

The Lutes faced Whittier in the first round of the NCAA Regional in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where they shut out the Poets, 4-0 to advance to the second round. After two scoreless overtimes, the Regals netted five, where the Lutes only scored four, and fell to California Lutheran to close out the season.

In NCAA final statistics, Pacific Lutheran ranked third nationally in goals-against average, and 2018 graduate Machaela Graddy earned NCAA Third Team All-America honors in addition to an All-NWC First Team recognition. The Lutes totaled nine athletes on the All-NWC roster, including All-NWC First Team selections Rachel Ross (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Leah Magee (Olympia, Wash.), who will return for the 2018 season. Out of the nine honored, the team graduates only four. The team will seek their third consecutive NWC title in the 2018 season.

Puget Sound ranks second in the poll totaling 55 points. The Loggers finished the 2017 season tied with Whitworth with a conference record of 11-3-2, and 13-4-3 overall, including a 1-0 victory over first-seeded Pacific Lutheran. Six Loggers were honored with all-conference recognition, including NWC Defensive Player of the Year Jamie Lange (Lake Tapps, Wash.), Emily Prasil (Lake Oswego, Ore.), and Tayla MacPherson (Seattle, Wash) among All-NWC First Team recipients.  Lange and MacPherson will return to lead the Loggers in the 2018 season.

Whitworth claims a third place standing with 53 points. Having tied with Puget Sound in 2017 final standings, the Pirates finished the season 12-6-2 overall (11-3-2 NWC). Five athletes earned all-conference recognition, including All NWC First Team selections Sydney Weiler (Spokane, Wash.) and Kathryn Bischoff (Spokane, Wash.). Teammates Kelly Wucherer (Woodinville, Wash.) and Leah Corra (Redmond, Wash.) earned All NWC Second Team, and Arielle Van Peursem (Bothell, Wash.) was an honorable mention selection. The Pirates return to the 2018 season on the quest for a NWC title.

Willamette and Linfield split fourth place, each garnering a total of 38 points. The Bearcats recorded a 13-4-3 overall record in the 2017 season, with a conference record of 10-4-2 and a fourth place finish in conference standings. Emmy Manset (Ventura, Calif.) was named an All-NWC First Team selection after being named NWC Student Athlete of the week four times during the 2017 season and leading the conference in goals with 13 and shots with 83. Teammates Annie Strom (Mount Vernon, Wash.) and Shanna Keil (Danville, Calif.) earned All-NWC Second Team nods, and Hannah Deighton (Long Beach, Calif.) was named an honorable mention selection.

Linfield recorded an overall record of 9-9-2 during the 2017 season (7-7-2 NWC), with a fifth-place conference finish. All three of the Wildcats' All-NWC honorees will return to the field for the 2018 season, including Freshman of the Year Michayla Sponsel (Portland, Ore.).

George Fox claims a sixth place standing, garnering a total of 31 points. The Bruins finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 8-9-2 (6-8-2 NWC), naming Abby Anderson (Arlington, Wash.) and Emma Logan (Sandpoint, Idaho) to the All-NWC Second Team, and giving Michala Denn (Medford, Ore.) an honorable mention nod. Anderson and Denn return for their sophomore campaigns to help lead the Bruins this season.

The Whitman Blues secure a seventh place rank with 18 points. The Blues ended the 2017 season with a final record of 2-16-2, and a conference record of 2-12-2, including wins over Lewis and Clark and Pacific (Ore.). All-NWC Second Team selection Quinne Woolley (Los Altos, Calif.) returns on defense for the Blues.

Lewis & Clark ranks eighth in the poll with 15 points. In the 2017 season, the Pioneers tied with Whitman in seventh in final conference standings with an overall record of 3-14-3 (2-12-2 NWC). Alexa Hanson (Alameda, Calif.), an All-NWC Second Team selection, will return to the field to help lead the Pioneers in the 2018 season.

Pacific (Ore.) rounds out the poll in ninth with a total of 13 points. The Boxers recorded an overall record of 1-15-4 (1-12-3 NWC) in the 2017 season, including a 1-0 win over Lewis & Clark. Kayla Mizo (Kailua, Hawaii) was a team leader, having been named an All-NWC honorable mention selection.

NWC women's soccer regular season will commence on August 31st, with all nine NWC teams competing that weekend.