Boise State Soccer Picked Sixth by WAC Coaches
The Boise State soccer team has been picked to place sixth in this year’s Western Athletic Conference race. Fresno State, last year’s WAC tournament champion, has been picked to win the 2006 regular season WAC crown ahead of Hawaii and San Jose State. The 2005 WAC race was a dog fight that saw six schools finish within one game of each other in the final league standings. Hawaii won the regular season title with a 5-2-0 mark followed by four schools tied for second at 4-2-1. Boise State placed sixth in the final table at 4-3-0 in WAC play. The Broncos were one of four teams to end the season above 500 at 10-8-2 overall, their second best mark in the program’s eight year history.

Boise State returns the majority of its 2005 squad with 10 starters and 19 letterwinners back for this year’s title push. In addition, the Broncos have the most experienced squad in program history with 16 upper classmen (six seniors and 10 juniors) back for the 2006 campaign. Among the returners is All-WAC Second Team selection Alli Tsuchida, a junior defender from Honolulu, Hawaii and standout goalkeeper Kim Parker, a senior from Portland, Oregon and a 2004 All-WAC selection as a sophomore. Boise State has featured one of the top-two defenses in the league the last two seasons and looks to be strong in the back again this year with everyone returning.

Fresno State earned 46 points and grabbed five first-place votes to top the poll. After making a run in the 2005 WAC Tournament, the Bulldogs suffered a first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Santa Clara. Hawaii, the 2005 regular-season champion, has been selected by the coaches to finish second, receiving 42 points. The Rainbow Wahine return seven starters, including first-team all-WAC selections Jessica Domingo and Koren Takayama. Projected to finish third is San Jose State with 34 points. The Spartans finished tied for second in the WAC’s regular season with a 4-2-1 record. With 10 returning starters, including the WAC’s 2005 Freshman of the Year, Liz Behlen, San Jose State looks for its first crown since 2000.

Coming in fourth in the in the poll is Nevada which received one first place vote and 31 points. Nevada is hosting this year’s WAC Tournament. Grabbing fifth in the preseason poll is Utah State with 29 points. The Aggies finished tied for second last season, its first in the WAC. Boise State is tabbed to finish sixth with 20 points. Rounding out the field are Idaho with 14 points and Louisiana Tech with eight.

The WAC will continue its regular-season play as a single round-robin format for a total of seven conference matches. Each team will receive three points for a win and one point for a tie. The six teams with the most points will advance to the WAC Tournament in Reno, Nevada the first week of November. The regular season kicks off August 25 with seven of eight teams in competition.

TEAM POINTS (first place votes)
1. Fresno State 46 (5)
2. Hawaii 42 (2)
3. San Jose State 34
4. Nevada 31 (1)
5. Utah State 29
6. Boise State 20
7. Idaho 14
8. Louisiana Tech 8

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