The Long Beach State women’s soccer team has been picked to finish in a tie for second in the 2013 Big West Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, which was announced last week.
The 49ers and UC Irvine both received one first-place vote and compiled 62 points. Cal State Fullerton, the 2012 regular-season champion, was tabbed the preseason favorite with five first-place nods and 72 points.
Cal Poly SLO claimed the remaining two first-place votes to come in fourth with 59 points while Cal State Northridge wasn’t far behind in fifth with 54 points. Rounding out the poll were UC Santa Barbara (30 points), Hawai'i (27), UC Davis (22) and UC Riverside (17).
The conference also revealed its 12-member preseason all-conference team, which featured three 49ers—Eileen Maes, Taylor Nelson and Elizabeth Lyons.
Maes, a senior midfielder, was a second-team All-Big West selection after finishing with a team-high nine goals last year. Maes also compiled three assists, 21 points and 45 shot attempts.
Nelson garnered All-Big West honorable mention recognition in 2012. The junior midfielder played every game, finishing with three assists and 28 shots.
Lyons, a sophomore forward, was named to the 2012 Big West All-Freshman Team as she had two goals, three assists and 30 shot attempts.
The 49ers, who are coming off a third-straight NCAA tournament appearance and its seventh double-figure win campaign in the last eight seasons, return 13 letterwinners and five starters from last year’s squad that went 12-8-0.
Long Beach State will officially open its 2013 season against Northern Arizona on Friday, Aug. 23. The 49ers and Lumberjacks will face off under the lights at George Allen Field with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.