FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona University women's soccer team was picked to win the 2015 Big Sky Conference championship per the Big Sky Conference preseason poll. NAU and Montana each received 93 points in coaches' votes, but the Lumberjacks edged the Grizzlies in first-place votes five to four. Montana won the 2014 regular-season championship but fell to Idaho State in the Big Sky tournament semifinals 2-1.
Coming in behind NAU and Montana was Portland State receiving 74 points. The Vikings have not finished lower than a tie for second since 2007.
NAU is coming off a 2014 Big Sky Conference Championship after receiving the tournament crown last season. The 'Jacks are returning five all-conference players in seniors Haley Wingender, Cierra Gamble and Ashlynn Curnow, redshirt junior Natalie Gilbertson and sophomore Adrian Nixt.
NAU is set to face Arizona State in an exhibition match on Friday, Aug. 14 in Prescott. On Aug. 21 NAU will play at Grand Canyon University and will open up at home on Aug. 28 against the University of Arizona.
The 2015 Big Sky Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
- Northern Arizona (5 first-place votes)…93 points
- Montana (4)…93
- Portland State…74
- Weber State (2)…72
- Northern Colorado…60
- Idaho State…57
- Eastern Washington…49
- Sacramento State…35
- Southern Utah...29
- North Dakota...11