Aug. 12, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford will open its women's soccer season ranked No. 2 in the nation, according to the NSCAA coaches' poll, the most widely-recognized ranking system.
The Cardinal (22-2-1 last year) trails only defending national champion North Carolina in the pre-season rankings.
This is Stanford's highest NSCAA ranking since it was No. 2 on Oct. 23, 2007. Earlier that season, Stanford held the No. 1 spot for two weeks.
A year ago, Stanford was No. 10 in the pre-season poll, and finished at No. 4 after reaching the College Cup semifinals. Stanford's season ended with a 1-0 loss to Notre Dame, which has been slotted just behind the Cardinal, at No. 3.
Stanford is the highest among four Pacific-10 Conference teams that are ranked. The others are UCLA (No. 5), USC (No. 8) and Washington State (No. 21).
The complete NSCAA pre-season Top 25 can be found hereCoaches tab Stanford as Pac-10 favorite
The vote was close, but Stanford was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 in a vote of conference coaches released Tuesday.
The Cardinal received six first-place votes to four for second-place UCLA, and edged the Bruins, 78-76, in points awarded by predicted order of finish.
This is the second consecutive season Stanford has been the preseason choice. Last year, the Cardinal went 8-1 to finish second behind UCLA in the conference standings and joined the Bruins in the College Cup.
Stanford is a five-time Pac-10 champion, but is searching for its first conference title since 2002.Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):
2009 Pac-10 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Stanford (6) 78
2. UCLA (4) 76
3. USC 61
4. California 58
5. Washington 46
6. Washington State 45
7. Arizona State 29
8. Oregon 27
9. Oregon State 16
10. Arizona 14