By RYAN PFEIFER
GREELEY -- The Northern Colorado soccer team enters the 2012 season as one of the favorites to win the Big Sky Conference, according to the league's head coaches.
The Bears begin 2012 trying to repeat as regular season champions and will have the target on their backs.
In the preseason Big Sky coaches poll, released earlier today, the Bears are picked to finish second behind Portland State. Although Northern Colorado was picked to finish second they accumulated the most first place votes with six.
Montana and Weber State rounded out the top four teams in the poll. Big Sky newcomers North Dakota and Southern Utah were picked to finish tied for 9th.
The top four teams at the end of the year of the Big Sky standings will play for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The regular season champion hosts the tournament on Nov. 2 and 4.
The Bears kick off their season Saturday, August 11th with an exhibition against Air Force at 8 pm at Jackson Field. The regular season starts August 17th at home vs. Colorado at 7:30 pm as part of the Colorado Cup. The regular season home opener will be preceded by Denver and Colorado College 5:00.
Admission to all home soccer matches is free this year thanks to Best Western Plus and their sponsorship.
|1. Portland State||68 (2)|
|2. Northern Colorado||66 (4)|
|3. Montana||64 (2)|
|4. Weber State||58 (1)|
|T5. Northern Arizona||50 (1)|
|T5. Sacramento State||50|
|7. Idaho State||39|
|8. Eastern Washington||23|
|T9. North Dakota||16|
|T9. Southern Utah||16|