Jayhawks picked second in preseason Big 12 coaches’ poll

IRVING, Texas – Kansas soccer was predicted to finish second in the 2017 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released Wednesday morning. The ranking marked the highest Kansas has been picked to finish since the preseason coaches’ poll began in 2000.
Five-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ unanimous choice to win the conference, receiving eight first-place votes and 81 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Kansas (71), Oklahoma (57), Texas Tech (55), Baylor (47), Oklahoma State (38), TCU (37), Texas (32), Iowa State (23) and Kansas State (9).
The Jayhawks return 17 letterwinners and six starters from the 2016 squad that went 11-6-4, finished second in the Big 12 and appeared in the program’s seventh NCAA Tournament last season. Junior forward Grace Hagan returns after leading the Jayhawks in scoring last year with seven goals, four assists and 18 points. The Wichita, Kansas native is one of 30 players to be named to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, collegiate soccer’s most prestigious award. Sophomore Katie McClure was the Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer in 2016 with five goals and earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Kansas returns 80 percent of its offensive output from a year ago.
KU will play its lone preseason tune-up Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is set for 1 p.m. Kansas will open up its regular season against former Big 12 foe, Nebraska, on Aug. 18 in Lawrence.

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