The University of Wyoming women's soccer team was picked fourth in the preseason Mountain West Coaches' Poll, the conference announced Wednesday.
“Obviously it’s great to be picked in the top few teams, but at the end of the day you still have to go out and win games,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “Preseason polls are what they are, and if you look back at years past, they never match up with the final standings. So we know we have a job to do going forward, and right now it’s to win games and prepare for the next game. If we take care of our business we think we have a chance at this, so that’s our goal and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”
Defending MW regular-season champion San Diego State was picked to finish first with 119 total points, including nine first-place votes, matching their vote totals from a season ago. MW Tournament Champion San Jose State came in second with 102 total points and garnered three first-place votes. New Mexico received 90 total points to claim the third-place spot. Wyoming was tabbed fourth with 84 total points. Boise State (80) finished fifth, Colorado College (76) claimed the sixth spot, and Utah State (71), UNLV (61), Fresno State (40), Air Force (34), Nevada (19) and Colorado State (16) rounded out the poll.
Wyoming returns all 11 starters and 21 letterwinners from the 2015 squad that went 10-6-4 overall and 6-4-1 in the Mountain West, earning a fourth-place finish in the conference. Head coach Pete Cuadrado enters his fifth year at the helm, looking to build on back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in program history. Junior forward Kaitlyn Lomsnes, the 2014 MW Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, enters the season as the Cowgirls’ active leading scorer (12 goals, four assists, 28 points). Other top returning players for the Cowgirls include All-MW First Team selection junior forward Shaina Ashouri (nine goals, seven assists, 25 points), junior defender Alisha Bass (seven goals, seven assists, 21 points) and senior forward Laurel Ramer (six goals, five assists, 17 points).
Wyoming fans will get the opportunity to see the Cowgirls nine times at home in 2016, starting with their season-opener against Houston Baptist on Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. A four-game mid-season homestand includes matches against UNLV (Sept. 30), Nevada (Oct. 2), Air Force (Oct. 7) and Colorado College (Oct. 9). The Cowgirls conclude the regular season with a matchup against Colorado State at home on Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.
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
3. New Mexico 90
4. Wyoming 84
5. Boise State 80
6. Colorado College 76
7. Utah State 71
8. UNLV 61
9. Fresno State 40
10. Air Force 34
11. Nevada 19
12. Colorado State 16
On Friday, the Cowgirls will travel to Hastings, Neb. for an exhibition match against South Dakota. Kick-off from Lloyd Wilson Field is slated for 5 p.m. MT. Follow @WYOSoccer on Twitter for game updates.