Pac-12 Conference coaches picked the University of Utah women’s soccer team to finish fifth in the preseason poll released on Tuesday.
The coaches voted Stanford the preseason favorite. Stanford received 10 of12 first-place votes. Stanford has won six conference titles in the past eight seasons.
UCLA placed second followed by defending national champion USC, California and Utah. UCLA and USC received one first-place vote apiece.
Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll
1. Stanford (10)119
2. UCLA (1) 110
3. USC (1) 101
4.California 86<5. Utah 81
6. Colorado 74
7. Washington State 48
10. Oregon 40
11. Arizona State 22
12.Oregon State 20.
The Utes, who return eight starters from last year’s team, enter the season ranked No. 20 in the United Soccer Coaches poll. That ranking marks the program’s second-highest ranking.
The Utes reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time inprogram history in 2016.
The Pac-12 has three teams ranked among the top 10 in the nation with Stanford (No. 2), USC (No. 3) and UCLA (No. 9). The Utes open their regular season on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Weber State in Ogden.