San Diego State Predicted To Capture 2016 Mountain West Women’s Soccer Title
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A voting panel of the 12 Mountain West women’s soccer head coaches has selected San Diego State as the favorite to win the 2016 MW regular-season title. The four-time defending regular-season champion Aztecs collected nine first-place votes and 119 total points overall. SDSU is followed by reigning Mountain West Tournament champion San José State (102 points, 3 first-place votes) in second and New Mexico (90 points) in third.
Wyoming (84 points) is predicted to finish in fourth, while Boise State (80 points) garnered the fifth spot. Following the Broncos, Colorado College (76 points) is sixth and Utah State (71 points) is tabbed to conclude the season in seventh. UNLV received 61 points to land in the eighth spot. Rounding out the poll are Fresno State (40 points), Air Force (34 points), Nevada (19 points) and Colorado State (16 points) in the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th positions, respectively.
San Diego State returns eight starters and 15 letterwinners from a 2015 squad that went 10-1 in Conference play and captured its fourth-consecutive MW regular-season title. Mike Friesen, in his 10th season at the helm of the Aztecs, welcomes back a pair of First-Team All-Conference performers from a year ago in Stacie Moran (Jr., D) and Milan Moses (So., M) as well as Second-Team All-MW selections Victoria Barba (Sr., M) and Angela Mitchell (Jr., F). Moses, Barba and Mitchell combined to produce 15 goals and six assists in 2015, while Moran helped anchor a defense which surrendered the fewest goals in the league (15).
San José State enters the 2016 campaign coming off its first Mountain West Championship title in program history. The Spartans finished second during the 2015 regular season with an 8-3 league mark. Third-year head coach Lauren Hanson will have to replace last season’s MW Defensive Player of the Year Zoe Makrigiannis, but does bring back the team’s top-two goal scorers, Darriell Franklin (So., F) and Dorthe Hoppius (Jr., F). Hoppius earned First-Team All-Conference accolades in 2015 after tallying eight goals and three assists, while Franklin was tabbed to the all-league second team following a season in which she scored nine goals and added two assists.
Entering her second season as the head coach at New Mexico, Heather Dyche will have to replace six starters from last season’s squad which concluded the regular season in third place in the Conference standings with a 7-3-1 record. Maddie Irwin (Sr., M), a 2015 Second-Team All-MW honoree, returns as does Claire Lynch (Jr., M) and Emily Chavez (Jr., D). The trio combined for 10 goals and two assists last season.
All 12 Mountain West institutions will be in action when regular season competition begins on Friday, August 19.
|2016 MW PRESEASON WOMEN'S SOCCER COACHES' POLL|
|Pl.||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|1.||San Diego State (9)||119|
|2.||San José State (3)||102|