San Diego State Picked to Win 2013 Mountain West Women's Soccer Title

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A voting panel of the 11 Mountain West head women's soccer coaches chose defending champion San Diego State as the favorite to win the 2013 MW regular-season title. The Aztecs collected nine first-place votes and 99 total points. New Mexico was second with 86 points and one first-place vote.

UNLV and MW newcomer Utah State tied for third with 77 points apiece, with the Rebels garnering one first-place vote. Boise State (61 points) and Fresno State (52 points), finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with Wyoming (45 points), Nevada (43 points), MW newcomer San José State (31 points), Air Force (20 points) and first-year program Colorado State (12 points) rounding out the standings.

San Diego State, ranked No. 11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll, returns 16 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2012 team that went through Conference play without a blemish (7-0) and reached the third round of the NCAA Championship. With a 21-2-1 record, the Aztecs ended 2012 ranked seventh in the nation. Leading the group of returning Aztecs is senior defender Haley Palmer, the 2012 MW Defensive Player of the Year. Coach Mike Friesen, in his seventh year, will receive steady contributions from junior forward Hannah Keane (seven goals, seven assists, 21 points, All-MW first-team in 2012) and senior midfielder Carli Johnson (two goals, four assists, All-MW first-team).

New Mexico finished 2012 with an 11-7-2 overall mark and tied for second-place in the MW regular season standings with Boise State, thanks to a 4-2-1 record. Kit Vela, now in her 13th season at the helm of the Lobos, returns 11 letterwinners and five starters to his lineup, including senior midfielders Elba Holguin (goal, three assists) and Brianna Webster (two goals).

UNLV (12-4-4 overall, 3-1-3 MW), coached by Michael Coll, brings back 12 letterwinners and seven starters, including senior goalkeeper Kyle Wassell (0.90 GAA, 68 saves, 10 shutouts, All-MW second-team). Utah State (13-3-6), who earned a share of the WAC regular-season championship and won the WAC tournament championship, returns nine starters and 18 letterwinners. Senior midfielder Jennifer Flynn (seven goals, two assists, 16 points, All-WAC second-team) and senior forward Mari Miyashiro (four goals, six assists) highlight the list of returning players for 11th-year coach, Heather Cairns.

The 2013 MW women's soccer season gets underway Friday, Aug. 23 with all 11 institutions in action.


Pl. Team (1st place votes) Points
1. San Diego State (9) 99
2. New Mexico (1) 86
3. UNLV (1) 77
  Utah State 77
5. Boise State 61
6. Fresno State 52
7. Wyoming 45
8. Nevada 43
9. San José State 31
10. Air Force 20
11. Colorado State 12