The 2008 Western Athletic Conference preseason all-conference soccer team and Players of the Year were announced today as voted on by the eight coaches. Boise State’s Shannon Saxton and Randi Baker were named to the 2008 Preseason All-WAC team. It is the first such honor for both Broncos during their respective careers. Saxton led the WAC in scoring last season as a true freshman with a school record breaking performance of 39 points on 17 goals and five assists. The sophomore to be was last year’s WAC Freshman of the Year and was named first-team All-WAC. Baker, a senior this fall, was the third leading scorer for Boise State in 2007 with 12 points on four goals and four assists. The tandem will be the heart of this year’s Bronco squad which is rebuilding after losing 11 seniors from last season.
The reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year, Hawai’i’s Ambree Ako, garnered Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors for the upcoming 2008 season. Ako’s teammate, Tehane Higa, took home a share of the Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year honor along with Utah State’s defensive ace Lindsey Smart.
Ako ended the 2007 season ranked first in the WAC in goals (7), assists (6) and points (20) in conference play as well as leading the conference with four game-winning goals during her sophomore season. She also ranked 33 in the nation with a 1.52 point per game average.
Hawai’i led all WAC teams with five of the 11 preseason all-conference selections, including Co-Defensive Player of the Year Tehane Higa. The veteran back returns for her final season with the Rainbow Wahine. She anchored a backline that helped break the school record for shutouts (12).
Along with Higa, Utah State’s Lindsey Smart also was voted Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Smart, the only Aggie to be chosen to the Preseason All-WAC team, is coming off a season in which she was voted first team all-WAC by the coaches at the end of last season. She helped Utah State to a 5-2 record in conference play and a fourth-place finish in the WAC.
2007’s assist (9) leader, Ali Sill, and Selena Gill were the Bulldogs’ preseason selections. Sill, a senior, earned first-team all-WAC honors at the end of last season and along with Gill helped Fresno State compete in its’ third-straight WAC tournament championship game.
Nevada’s Miranda Montejo rounds out the Preseason all-WAC team. The midfielder is one of nine seniors (second-most in the WAC) for the Wolfpack and is the all-time leader in points (44) at Nevada.
2008 Preseason All-WAC Team
Ambree Ako, F, Hawai’i, Jr.
Randi Baker, MF, Boise State, Sr.
Taryn Fukuroku, F, Hawai’i, Sr.
Selena Gill, D, Fresno State, Sr.
Tehane Higa, D, Hawai’i, Sr.
Kory Lu, GK, Hawai’i, Sr.
Nicole Mikula, D, Hawai’i, So.
Miranda Montejo, MF, Nevada, Sr.
Shannon Saxton, F, Boise State, So.
Alison Sill, MF, Fresno State, Sr.
Lindsey Smart, D, Utah State, Jr.
Preseason Players of the Year
Offensive: Ambree Ako, F, Hawai’i, Jr.
Co-Defensive: Lindsey Smart, D, Utah State, Jr. and Tehane Higa, D, Hawai’i, Sr.