San Diego State Picked To Win 2014 MW Women's Soccer Title

 

Colorado Springs, Colo. – A voting panel of the 12 Mountain West women’s soccer head coaches chose two-time defending regular-season and tournament champion San Diego State as the favorite to win the 2014 MW regular-season title. The Aztecs collected five first-place votes and 115 total points. Conference newcomer Colorado College was second with 112 points and five first-place votes.

Boise State, runner-up to the Aztecs at the 2013 Mountain West Women’s Soccer Championship, finished third with two first-place votes and 103 total points. New Mexico (88 points) and Utah State (82 points) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by Fresno State (73 points), UNLV (55 points), Wyoming (51 points) and Nevada (37 points). Colorado State and San José State each earned 27 points to finish tied for 10th-place, with Air Force rounding out the standings at 22 points.

The Aztecs return 14 letterwinners and six starters from a 2013 squad that finished 13-7-2 overall, 9-1 in Conference play. San Diego State secured the MW’s automatic bid in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship with a 1-0 victory over Boise State in the 2013 MW Women’s Soccer Championship match. Leading the way for the Aztecs in 2014 is senior forward Hannah Keane. Keane, who was named Most Valuable Player of the 2013 MW Women’s Soccer Championship, finished the 2013 campaign with 12 goals and four assists for 28 points. Other players expected to deliver steady contributions are junior midfielder Victoria Barba (three goals, five assists, 11 points) and junior goalkeeper Melanie Vaughn (1.04 GAA, 81 saves). Mike Friesen returns to the sidelines for his eighth year at the helm of the San Diego State program.

Colorado College won the Conference USA title a year ago, thanks to a 15-4-3 overall record and 8-1-1 mark in Conference play. The Tigers, who hosted Duke in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, bring back 16 letterwinners and six starters from that team. Leading the way is midfielder Jessie Ayers. The senior, who was named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List, scored 13 goals a year ago. Head coach Geoff Bennett also figures to see steady play from senior midfielder Kaeli Vandersluis (nine goals, nine assists, 27 points) and junior midfielder Sarah Schweiss (seven goals, seven assists, 21 points).

In his second year as head coach at Boise State, Jim Thomas brings back seven starters and 14 letterwinners from his 2013 club that ended the year with a 13-7-3 overall record, 6-3-1 in the MW. Junior midfielder Brooke Heidemann (nine goals, three assists, 21 points), redshirt sophomore Kayla Tucker (five goals, three assists, 13 points) and junior defenseman KT Clayton (two goals, 1 assist, five points) are the Broncos’ top returning players.

The 2014 Mountain West women’s soccer season gets underway Friday, Aug. 22 with all 12 institutions in action.

2014 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S SOCCER COACHES' POLL
Pl. Team (1st place votes) Points
1. San Diego State (5) 115
2. Colorado College (5) 112
3. Boise State (2) 103
4. New Mexico 88
5. Utah State 82
6. Fresno State 73
7. UNLV 55
8. Wyoming 51
9. Nevada 37
T-10. Colorado State 27
T-10. San José State 27
12. Air Force 22