MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 12-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team is the unanimous pick to win the Big 12 Conference title, as announced today by the league office.
The Mountaineers, the two-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions and the 2013 Big 12 Soccer Tournament victors, were picked to finish first by the league’s eight head coaches and sit atop the 2014 Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll with 64 points. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. This is the second straight season WVU was picked to win the conference.
“This is a good recognition from the conference coaches, but we have a lot of work ahead of us in order to defend our titles from 2013,” said Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Ultimately, it’s about where we finish at the end of the season – that’s what we’re focused on right now.”
Texas Tech, the only Big 12 team in two years to earn a regular-season victory over the Mountaineers, earned 56 points and is picked to finish second. Oklahoma State earned the only other first-place vote and is slotted at No. 3 with 49 points.
Baylor and Texas were picked fourth and fifth, respectively. Kansas is slotted at No. 6, followed by TCU, Iowa State and Oklahoma.
The Mountaineers boast a 14-1-1 all-time record in Big 12 play and are undefeated at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. WVU returns the 2013 Big 12 Defender and Newcomer of the Year in sophomore Kadeisha Buchanan
, while Izzo-Brown has earned the last two conference coach of the year honors. In addition to Buchanan, four 2013 All-Big 12 honorees also return: forwards Kate Schwindel
and Ashley Lawrence
, midfielder Amanda Hill
and defender Carly Black
The All-Big 12 preseason team will be announced tomorrow.