From the desk of Amy Dambro
Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE– The Wyoming women’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the preseason Mountain West Coaches’ Poll as voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Wyoming returns three starters and 14 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 12-4-4 overall, 7-2-2 in the Mountain West and took home a share of the MW regular season title. In all, the squad consists of four seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and 12 freshmen.
Boise State sits atop the preseason poll with 109 total points and four first-place votes. Last season, the Broncos finished in a tie for first with a 7-2-2 record. Defending Mountain West Champion, San Jose State was closely behind with 105 points and three first-place votes to place second.
New Mexico, which earned a share of the 2018 regular season title, was picked third in the voting with 104 points and three first-place nods. San Diego State finished fourth in the voting with 96 points and the final two first-place votes.
UNLV and Wyoming rounded out the top five on the preseason poll, after tying for fifth place with 70 points each. Fresno State, Colorado College and Utah State were next in seventh, eighth and ninth place, while Colorado State, Air Force and Nevada completed the preseason poll in the 10th, 11th and 12th spots.
Entering his eighth season at the helm, head coach Pete Cuadrado has an overall record of 66-55-19 during his tenure at UW and a 36-28-8 mark in league play. Former Cowgirl Taylor Burton was named the Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MW and fellow senior Annika Clayton was earned Second Team All-MW honors, while sophomore Savannah Warner was named to the All-Newcomer Team in 2018.
Several individuals looked upon to contribute during the 2019 campaign are seniors Michaela Stark and Summer Taube. Stark played in 14 of the Cowgirls games with two starts. She scored one goal, two assists and had five shots on goal. Taube completed her junior campaign with three goals, which included the game-winner against New Mexico. She also had two assists and 12 shots on goal in the 20 contests.
The Cowgirls will play one exhibition match before the official start of the season with a home contest against FC Boulder. It’s scheduled for Saturday, August 17 at 3 p.m. MT. Wyoming will then open up the 2019 season with a road matchup against UTEP on Thurs., Aug. 22. The meeting will be the sixth in the series and a rematch of last year’s contest that the Cowgirls won 3-1 in Laramie. The Cowgirls carry the longest non-conference home unbeaten streak among D-I programs into 2019, holding a 13-0-3 record dating back to the 2013 season.