The Cascade Collegiate Conference women's soccer coaches have made defending national champion Concordia the overwhelming favorite claim what would be its 14th league title, while Southern Oregon was ranked fourth in the poll, released Wednesday.
The Cascade Collegiate Conference women's soccer coaches have made defending national champion Concordia the overwhelming favorite to claim what would be its 14th league title while Southern Oregon was ranked fourth in the preseason poll, released Wednesday.
The Cavaliers, coming off their first national title and a 22-win season with only one loss and a tie, picked up all 10 first-place votes for 100 poll points, the most possible, while Northwest was ranked second with 85 points. Corban was ranked third with 81 points and Southern Oregon fourth with 73.
Concordia earned its 13th league title last season after going 9-0 in league matches, while Northwest and Corban tied for second with 6-2-1 league marks. Southern Oregon, which was 10-6-3 overall and 5-3-1 in league matches, will be seeking its fifth straight conference tournament berth and seventh straight above-.500 finish.
The Raiders are coached by Jenni Rosenberg, who begins her first full season at the helm after taking over for Jon Clement midway through the 2013 season. Her first recruiting class includes seven freshmen and one junior transfer, a group that will try to replace six players lost to graduation.
Rosenberg, who graduated from Ashland High in 1999 and was a member of SOU's first-ever women's soccer team in 2000, says the Raiders can use the poll as motivation.
"You know, I think our team is going to try to prove that wrong," she said of the No. 4 ranking. "I think we've fought really hard and worked really hard and the girls' goal is to win conference. So to hear fourth, it's kind of shame. The girls are in it to prove (the coaches) wrong."
Southern Oregon has 19 returners, including five starters and seven more who also had stints in the starting lineup. The five returning starters are defenders Paige Kilpatrick and Allyson Ward, midfielders Jacquie Galvez and Presley Lambert and goalkeeper Kylie Moltzen.
Though it's early — SOU's first practice was Monday — Rosenberg has been impressed with incoming freshmen Jacqueline Laird, a centerback, and Kelsey Randall, an attacking midfielder.
"We're building on what I taught them in the spring," she said. "I just see exponential growth from them. I'm super positive."
The Raiders' season-opener is Aug. 23 at Medford's U.S. Cellular Community Park against Marymount California University, and their CCC opener is Sept. 25 at home against Evergreen State. Starting Sept. 25 the Raiders, for the first time in program history, will play their home games at Raider Stadium, which is currently having its natural grass replaced with synthetic turf.
2014 CCC Coaches' Poll
Team Points 2013 CCC OVR
1. Concordia (10) 100 9-0 22-1-1
2. Northwest 85 6-2-1 10-8-2
3. Corban 81 6-2-1 11-6-3
4. Southern Oregon 73 5-3-1 10-6-3
5. Eastern Oregon 54 5-4 9-5-1
6. Oregon Tech 44 7-10-1 4-5
7. Northwest Christian 32 2-5-2 4-11-2
8. College of Idaho 29 1-8 3-13
9. Warner Pacific 28 2-6-1 3-8-1
10. Evergreen 24 2-7 3-11
* First-place votes in parentheses
Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com.