LONG BEACH, Calif. – Long Beach State, the reigning Big West Tournament champion, received eight first-place votes in the preseason poll as the Beach were chosen to finish first in the league it was announced Thursday afternoon by the conference office.
The league’s nine head coaches voted the Beach to win the title with a total of 78 points. Cal State Fullerton claimed second with 63 points, while UC Santa Barbara took third with 59 points. UC Irvine picked up the remaining first-place vote and was chosen to place fourth with 54 points.
Rounding out the five, six, and seven spots, respectively, were CSUN (50 points), Cal Poly (34 points) and UC Davis (32 points). UC Riverside collected 21 points for an eighth place finish, while Hawai’i rounded out the poll in ninth with 15 points.
Long Beach State is coming off of a 2016 campaign in which it made its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, its sixth in nine years. The Beach finished the season with a 10-7-4 overall record marking the program’s ninth 10-win season under head coach Mauricio Ingrassia.
The Beach return four players to the pitch who received All-Big West Conference honors a year ago in senior forward Ashley Gonzales, junior midfielder Dana Fujikuni and sophomore defenders Kaitlin Fregulia and Chloe Froment.
Gonzales and Froment were named the 2017 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team after having impressive 2016 campaigns in which Gonzales earned the Big West Offensive Player of the Year award, and Froment took home the Big West Freshman of the Year honor.
This season, LBSU returns 21 letterwinners and seven starters. The 2017 season begins on Friday, August 18 as Long Beach State takes on CSUN in a non-conference contest at 7 p.m. at George Allen Field.
2017 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
1 Long Beach State (8) – 78 points
2 Cal State Fullerton – 63 points
3 UC Santa Barbara – 59 points
4 UC Irvine (1) – 54 points
5 CSUN – 50 points
6 Cal Poly – 34 points
7 UC Davis – 32 points
8 UC Riverside – 21 points
9 Hawai’i – 15 points
( ) Indicates first-place votes
2017 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
Megan Abuyin, MF, Sr. – Cal Poly
Amanda Ball, F, Sr. – UC Santa Barbara
Connie Caliz, MF, Sr. – Cal State Fullerton
Chloe Froment, D, So. – Long Beach State
Ashley Gonzales, F, Sr. – Long Beach State
Mallory Hromatko, MF, Jr. – UC Santa Barbara
Lindsay Kutscher, D, Jr. – CSUN
Jovani McCaskill, GK, Sr. – CSUN
Raisa Strom-Okimoto, MF, Jr. – Hawai’i
Kiana Palacios, F, Sr. – UC Irvine
Cynthia Sanchez, F, Sr. – CSUN