Big things are expected out of West Virginia women’s soccer this season, coming off a 10-3-1 (7-2-0 Big 12) season and second-round NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Big 12 conference coaches voted upon the preseason conference standings Wednesday, and WVU earned the top spot for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. If Big 12 honors weren’t enough, the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll slotted the Mountaineers at No. 12.
— WVU Women's Soccer (@wvuwomenssoccer) August 4, 2021
WVU returns 14 letter winners from last season’s squad, including 10 starters, and for a team that suffered a surprising second-round loss to Rice, this WVU squad will likely look to soar far past the second round in 2021.
WVU narrowly edged out TCU for the top spot, earning 74 (five first-place votes) points to TCU’s 73 (four first-place votes). Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas rounded out the top five, earning 64 points, 56 points and 52 points (one first-place vote), respectively.
Kansas (40 points), Baylor (36 points), Iowa State (26 points), Oklahoma (15 points) and Kansas State (14 points) rounded out the remaining Big 12 teams.
WVU and TCU, coming off an Elite Eight appearance last season, should battle for a TCU’s 2020 Big 12 championship, with Oklahoma State also expected to make some noise in the conference. TCU is ranked eighth while Oklahoma State is ranked 16th.
WVU will play five teams currently ranked in the Top 25, including Virginia (fourth), TCU, Penn State (11th), Georgetown (11th) and Oklahoma State.
The quest for a 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for WVU begins officially against Buffalo on Aug. 19 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, but the Mountaineers will play their first exhibition contest against Maryland on Aug. 8 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium at 2 p.m.