|Soccer Ninth in Preseason Poll|
OGDEN, Utah-The University of Idaho women’s soccer team was picked to finish ninth in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches’ poll for the 2014 season,
The Vandals earned 29 points in the poll, two points ahead of Eastern Washington. Idaho departed the Western Athletic Conference with a 4-16 record last season, going 4-8 in conference play and reaching the WAC tournament for the fourth consecutive season. The Vandals return 13 letterwinners and 14 players overall from last season, while 11 newcomers will aid the team.
“As the new school in the Big Sky and considering our record last season, I would say it’s a fair evaluation of where we might finish in the conference this year. We have a young roster and this fall will be a constant ebb and flow of adjustments for our team as we prepare from week to week,” head coach Derek Pittman said. “We are very excited to be in the Big Sky and have the chance to play the tough competition that exists in our conference, but right now we are just taking it one day at a time and preparing for our season opener at Seattle U. Once our conference schedule begins, anything can happen.”
Portland State was voted to finish first with 93 points – one point ahead of last year's conference champions, Weber State, who totaled 92 points.
Also on Wednesday, College Sport Madness released its Big Sky All-Conference teams. Sophomores Alyssa Pease and Gabby Leong were both selected to the Second Team. Pease, a forward from Bend, Ore., played in all 20 games for Idaho in 2013. She ended the season with six points, tied for the team lead in goals with three. Leong, a midfielder/defender from Upland, Calif., started in 19 games her freshman season and recorded five shots on goal, closing the season as a WAC All-Tournament selection.
Idaho will play its Silver & Gold game on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT, at Guy Wicks Field. The Vandals open regular season play with a road match Aug.22 at Seattle U. Idaho’s first regular season home match is Aug.24 against Texas Christian.