Kansas Picked Sixth in Preseason Big 12 Coaches’ Poll

IRVING, Texas – Kansas soccer was predicted to finish sixth in the 2014 league standings according to the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll which was released Wednesday morning. The ranking marks the 10th time in the 15-year history of the preseason vote that KU has been picked to finish among the top-six teams in the conference.
Two-time defending league champion West Virginia was the unanimous choice to win the conference, receiving eight first-place votes and 64 points overall, followed by Texas Tech (56), Oklahoma State (49), Baylor (40), Texas (39), Kansas (25), TCU (21) and Iowa State (16) and Oklahoma (14).
The Jayhawks return 16 letterwinners and nearly 70 percent of their scoring from the 2013 squad that finished 7-11-2 overall and 2-5-1 in conference play. Mark Francis enters his 16th season as the Jayhawks’ head coach and is just four wins shy of his 200th career coaching victory. Junior midfielder Liana Salazar returns after a solid sophomore campaign that saw her earn All-Big 12 First Team honors. The Jayhawks will boast an experienced core as the team returns nine of its 11 starters from a year ago including seniors Jamie Fletcher and Caroline Van Slambrouck, junior Ashley Williams as well as sophomores Tayler Estrada and Aurélie Gagnet, who was tabbed to the Big 12’s All-Newcomer Team after her first season in Lawrence.

Kansas will open its 2014 slate on Friday, Aug. 15 with an exhibition match against South Dakota State at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m., with free admission to all fans.
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