NEW WESTMINSTER – With the Canada West women’s soccer season slated to kick off this Friday, the coaches have tabbed the defending conference and national champion UBC Thunderbirds as the preseason favourites.
The Thunderbirds, who open their season Saturday in Victoria against the Vikes, earned 14 of a possible 15 first-place votes to top the annual Canada West coaches preseason poll.
Calgary and Alberta earned the other two first-place votes from the conference’s 16 head coaches.
Surprisingly the Trinity Western Spartans, who finished second in the poll, didn’t receive a single first-place tally despite finishing second at both the Canada West Select Six and CIS national tournament.
The Spartans enter the season looking to avenge those losses to UBC and regain their spot atop Canada West – a place they resided seven of the last dozen years.
If the coaches poll is any indication the balance of power is once again expected to reside west of the Rocky Mountains this season, as four of the top five teams in the poll hail from the Pacific Division.
Only Calgary managed to crack the top five as a Prairie Division side, with the Dinos earning plenty of respect the coaches with a third-place finish that included a first-place vote.
To get you set for the 2016 Canada West season, click here for a look at each team in the Pacific Division, and here for a snapshot of the Prairie Division.
2016 Canada West Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll
Team / Points (first-place votes)
- UBC / 220 (14)
- TWU / 208
- Calgary / 177 (1)
- Victoria / 176
- Fraser Valley / 173
- Saskatchewan / 167
- Alberta / 155 (1)
- MacEwan / 123
- Manitoba / 114
- UBCO / 82
- Mount Royal / 70
- Regina / 66
- Thompson Rivers / 57
- UNBC / 51
- Lethbridge / 45
- Winnipeg / 36
NOTES: Teams received 15 points for a first-place vote, 14 for a second-place vote etc.