LANGLEY, British Columbia – The defending Canada West champion Trinity Western's women's soccer team will open the season atop the conference pool as the Spartans beat out local rivals UBC and Victoria for top spot.
The Spartans topped the annual poll with 213 points, while UBC (209 pts.), and Victoria (189 pts.) were second and third, respectively.
TWU, who is ranked No. 4 in the U SPORTS Top 10, will open its season this weekend on home field, as the Spartans host Victoria Friday and UBC Saturday. Both games are at 5 p.m. (PT) and will be streamed live at www.canadawest.tv.
It was a tight battle for top spot in the poll, which is voted on by all 16 conference head coaches, as TWU edged out UBC by just four points. The Spartans topped the poll despite receiving fewer first-place votes (six) than the Thunderbirds (seven). TWU earned the edge thanks to consistent support from the conference's coaches, who ranked the Spartans no lower than third, while UBC's votes ranged from first to fourth.
In the chase pack behind TWU and UBC are the Victoria Vikes, Alberta Pandas (186 pts.), and Calgary Dinos (182 pts.). The Vikes, who opened their season last weekend with a 1-0 loss to UBC in the lone women's regular season game of the weekend, didn't earn any first-place votes, while both Alberta (two) and Calgary (one) did earn first-place nods.
2018 CANADA WEST PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
TEAM / POINTS (FIRST-PLACE VOTES)
1. Trinity Western Spartans / 213 (6)
2. UBC Thunderbirds / 209 (7)
3. Victoria Vikes / 189
4. Alberta Pandas / 186 (2)
5. Calgary Dinos / 182 (1)
6. Saskatchewan Huskies / 153
7. MacEwan Griffins / 139
8. Fraser Valley Cascades / 134
9. Manitoba Bisons / 96
10. Mount Royal Cougars / 95
11. UBCO Heat / 74
12. Regina Cougars / 71
13. UNBC Timberwolves / 61
14. Lethbridge Pronghorns / 51
15. Winnipeg Wesmen / 40
16. Thompson Rivers WolfPack / 27
NOTES: Coaches rank all conference teams excluding their own. First-place vote worth 15 pts., second-place 14 pts. etc.
Recognized for quality, TWU has received seven consecutive A+ rankings for Quality of Teaching and Learning, holds three Canada Research Chairs, and wins national championships in CIS sports. More importantly, lives are changed at TWU through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education. With a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree-completion programs, TWU equips leaders of character and competence to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.