UO Soccer Picked Fifth in Pac-10

EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon women's soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in the preseason coaches poll, and was also slotted at No. 19 in the Soccer Buzz national preseason poll, both of which were released Tuesday.

It is Oregon's first ever appearance in the Soccer Buzz top 30, which obviously means that it marks the program's first-ever preseason ranking. The Ducks were 12-6-2 in 2006 and finished second in the Pac-10 with a 6-1-2 record.

"I'm a little surprised simply because we haven't been recognized in preseason in the past," said Oregon head coach Tara Erickson. "But I'm also pleased that the returning players are getting some recognition for what they accomplished in (2006).

"We went through a year of firsts last season and now we have a nice start to this season with our first Soccer Buzz ranking. There is some pressure and some expectations that come with being a ranked team, but we need to learn to handle that in order to meet our ultimate goal of getting that first NCAA Tournament bid."

The Ducks' fifth-place choice by the Pac-10 coaches also marked a high for Oregon. Prior to Tuesday, the Ducks had never been picked higher than seventh in the league's preseason poll. Defending champion UCLA was the pick to win the Pac-10, followed by Stanford, California, USC and Oregon. The second five consisted of Washington State, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington and Oregon State.

Soccer Buzz selected defending NCAA champion North Carolina at the top of its national poll, with the Bruins No. 2, Notre Dame No. 3, Portland fourth and Texas A&M to round out the top five. The rest of the top 10 had Stanford sixth followed by Florida, Florida State, Texas and Connecticut. The Ducks and No. 4 Portland will meet Oct. 5 in Eugene.

The second 10 featured No. 11 Virginia, No. 12 Penn State, No. 13 Boston College, No. 14 USC, No. 15 Santa Clara, No. 16 Rutgers, No. 17 Illinois, No. 18 West Virginia, No. 19 Oregon and No. 20 Villanova.

The last 10 consisted of Colorado, Duke, Brigham Young, Tennessee, Long Beach State, Kansas, William & Mary, Clemson, Oklahoma and Marquette. Oregon opens training camp with its first practice on Wednesday. The Ducks' first game is Aug. 31 at Nevada.

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