SEATTLE – The Puget Sound women's soccer team was picked to claim its 11th consecutive Northwest Conference title in a poll o f the conference coaches released today. The Loggers garnered six of the nine first-place votes and totaled 66 points to top the poll.
"It is fun and an honor to be recognized by your peers," said head coach Randy Hanson. "I'm excited to begin the season's daily work to see if we can live up to that recognition."
Last season, the Loggers took a different road than in years past. They found themselves in second place with just a few weeks left but were able to surpass Linfield and claim an outright conference title on the last day of the season. The title was the Loggers 10th consecutive title, which is the longest active streak in Division III women's soccer.
Goalkeeper Kara Merfeld, the Loggers only returning All-NWC First Team player, returns to anchor the Loggers defense. Second Teamer Robin Vieira also returns up front for the Loggers while juniors Kylie Beeson and Hannah Hawkins return in the midfield.
The Loggers will return five starters in 2012 in the hunt for an 11th NWC title but will be as young as ever with no seniors on this year's roster.
Linfield was picked second in the poll by a slim margin as they took three first-place votes and totaled 62 points. Whitworth and Willamette were each picked third with a total of 46 points each. Pacific was picked fifth, followed by Whitman in sixth and Pacific Lutheran in seventh. George Fox and Lewis & Clark rounded out the poll in eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Loggers open up the season with a Sep. 1 exhibition match against Capilano at 1 p.m. and will host Corban at noon on Sep. 3 for their regular season opener.