UCLA Tabbed to Defend Pac-10 Soccer Title

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Defending Conference champion UCLA has been voted as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 women's soccer title, according to the Pac-10 preseason coaches' poll. The Bruins garnered seven first place votes, while California, Stanford, and USC each received one, respectively.

UCLA, which has topped the preseason poll in seven out of the last eight years, tallied 78 points, slipping by California, which came in second with 69 points. Stanford garnered 63 points to barely edge out USC (62) for the third and fourth spots, respectively. Arizona received 49 points, leaving Oregon State and Washington State to battle it out for the No. 6 slot with 34 points apiece. Arizona State nabbed 23 points to slide ahead of Washington with 21, while Oregon grabbed 17 points to round out the Conference votes.

Last year UCLA not only set a Pac-10 record for wins in a season with 22, but made its way into the NCAA Finals for the second-consecutive year. Despite earning a No. 1 seed in its region, UCLA fell to Portland in the championship, 4-0. California made a run for the title as the Golden Bears advanced to the third round before being edged out by Florida State, 2-1. The Arizona Wildcats clawed their way into the third round of the Tournament, marking their first-ever Sweet 16 debut, but fell to NCAA Champion Portland, 4-0. USC and Stanford also received bids to the NCAA Tournament. While the Women of Troy participated in the first and second rounds before they were upset by Cal State Fullerton, the Cardinal were knocked out of the first round, ending their season with a 2-0 loss to St. Louis.

Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):

2006 Pac-10 Women's Soccer Preseason Poll

1.UCLA (7)78
2.California (1) 69
3. Stanford (1)63
4. USC (1)62
5. Arizona 49
6.Oregon State 34
Washington State 34
8.Arizona State 23
9.Washington 21
10.Oregon 17

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