Jayhawks Picked Fourth in Preseason Big 12 Coaches’ Poll
IRVING, Texas – Kansas soccer was predicted to finish fourth in the 2015 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released Wednesday morning. The ranking marks the fourth time in the 16-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked to finish among the top-four teams in the conference.
Three-time defending league champion West Virginia was the coaches’ choice to win the conference, receiving eight seven-place votes and 63 points overall. The Mountaineers were followed by Texas Tech (55), Oklahoma State (46), Kansas (45), Oklahoma (38), Texas (28), TCU (22), Baylor (18) and Iowa State (9).
The Jayhawks return 15 letterwinners and seven starters from the 2014 squad which went 15-6-0, finished third in the Big 12 and appeared in the program’s sixth NCAA Tournament last season. Senior midfielder Liana Salazar returns after leading the Jayhawks in scoring last year with 13 goals, four assists and 30 points. The Bogotá, Colombia native is one of 28 players to be named to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, collegiate soccer’s most prestigious award. Striker Ashley Williams was the Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer in 2014 with seven goals and also returns for her final season at KU. As an offense, Kansas returns 11 of the 14 players who contributed at least one goal or an assist in 2014.
KU will play the first of two preseason exhibitions Wednesday against the Drake Bulldogs. Kickoff from Rock Chalk Park is at 7 p.m. Kansas will open up its regular season against former Big 12 foe, Nebraska, on Aug. 21 in Lincoln.
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