Aug. 10, 2012
IRVING, Texas - The Baylor women's soccer team received the highest preseason poll ranking in program history, after Big 12 Conference head coaches picked the Bears to take third in the race for the league crown. BU's previous high placing in the poll was fifth in 2000, the first year the poll was conducted.
The Bears earned a total of 49 points to finish behind last season's regular season champion Oklahoma State (60) and league newcomer West Virginia (56). In all, five different teams earned first-place votes including Baylor, another first for the program. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
Last season, Baylor was selected to place in a tie for seventh in the Big 12's preseason poll, but the Bears produced a 5-2-1 record in conference play to take third.
Baylor is returning 22 players, including seven starters from the 2011 squad that finished with a 15-4-3 record. The 15 wins tied the 1998 Big 12 Champion team for the second-most victories in a season and the squad became the first team in program history to advance past the first round of the NCAA Championship.
The 2012 Bears will compete for the first time on Sunday as they travel to Notre Dame for an exhibition match at noon (CT). Baylor will get its regular season underway on Friday at 7 p.m. with a match in Houston against Rice. The home opener for BU is on Sunday, Aug. 19 versus Northwestern State at 1 p.m. Conference action starts for Baylor on Sept. 21 at Oklahoma.
2012 Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll
(First place votes in parentheses; Coaches not allowed to vote for own team)
||Oklahoma State (4)
||West Virginia (2)
||Texas Tech (1)