August 15, 2011

Soccer tabbed for third in Big Sky preseason coaches poll

Poll | Big Sky release | Northern Colorado 2011 schedule

OGDEN, Utah – The Northern Colorado women's soccer team doesn't look like it will be able to take anyone in the Big Sky by surprise this season after the conference announced its preseason poll.

After being overlooked last season in the preseason polls, the Bears received two first-place votes (39 points total) and have been tabbed to finish third in the Big Sky.  It is the team's highest predicted finish since 2008, when it was picked to finish second.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

The conferences high expectations for the Bears come from the success the team enjoyed last year. After being picked to finish in eighth at the start of last season, Northern Colorado turned in a 10-6-3 (3-2-2 BSC) record. Its fourth place finish in the Big Sky also qualified it for the school's second Big Sky Tournament.

Defending Big Sky Regular Season Champion Northern Arizona received 43 points and is picked to defend its title. Sacramento State, the league's postseason champion, is picked a close second as it received 42 total points.

With nine of eleven starters returning this season, including All-Big Sky performers Danielle Birdsall, Kimmie Feidler, Ariel Cook and Aundreaha Martinez, the Bears seem ready to meet and exceed the league's heightened expectations.

2011 Big Sky Conference Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll

1.  Northern Arizona, 43 points (3 first-place votes)
2.  Sacramento State, 42 points (3 first-place votes)
3.  Northern Colorado, 39 points (2 first-place votes)
4.  Portland State, 34 points
5.  Weber State, 26 points
6.  Montana, 19 points
7.  Idaho State, 14 points
8.  Eastern Washington, 7 points