REBELS PICKED FOURTH IN MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON POLL
UNLV predicted to finish fourth in the Mountain West in a polling of the league’s coaches
For the second consecutive year, UNLV women’s soccer earned a spot in the top four of the Mountain West preseason poll, announced by the conference office Thursday. The Rebels were slated fourth in the poll after receiving 83 total votes from the league’s coaches. This comes a year after UNLV was picked to finish third in 2017 – their highest preseason ranking under fifth-year head coach Chris Shaw.
The Scarlet and Gray finished the 2017 campaign 13-7 overall and tied for sixth in the Mountain West standings, just narrowly missing the Mountain West tournament.
The 2018 squad will be looking to replace three key members who graduated last spring – keeper Jordan Sallee, midfielder Sophie Cortes and defender Chidera Akubuilo. Cortes and Akubuilo were both two-time All-Mountain West and All-Region honorees, while Sallee started 65 games in her four-year career. The trio ended their careers as the winningest class in program history.
While those talents are hard to replace, the Rebels have plenty of firepower returning this fall. Senior forwards Caitlyn Kreutz and Amanda Galbraith, who both transferred in prior to 2017, along with redshirt junior Michaela Morris, are back to lead the attack after the three combined for 20 goals and 16 assists a year ago. The midfield will have a steady presence as juniors Georgia Kingman and Katie Ballou return, each with two years starting experience under her belt, while the defense will be anchored by veterans – senior Bella Myers and junior Paige Almendariz. UNLV will also welcome 14 newcomers, including three transfers from Pac-12 programs, who are sure to make an immediate impact.
San Diego State was the narrow favorite, edging out 2017 regular season champion San Jose State by one point – 112 to 111, with Boise State not far behind in third at 99. The Spartans received the most first-place votes with five, with the Aztecs garnering four, the Broncos nabbing two and Fresno State grabbing one. Coming in behind the Rebels was New Mexico in fifth at 80 points, followed by the Bulldogs in sixth with 65; Utah State in seventh with 64; Wyoming in eighth with 51; Air Force in ninth with 47; Colorado College in 10th with 42; Colorado State in 11th with 26; and UNR in 12th with 12 points.
UNLV opens its 2018 slate on Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m. against University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) at Peter Johann Memorial Field as part of the annual UNLV Invitational.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2018 season. Season tickets are just $35 for adults, $25 for UNLV faculty/staff and seniors. Single game ticket prices this season are $8 for adults, $6 for faculty/staff and seniors, though a special internet price of $5 is available for all tickets bought online at UNLVTickets.com, good up to three hours before game time. Kids 12 and under are always free at UNLV women’s soccer contests.
2018 Mountain West Preseason Coaches Poll
Place Team (1st place votes) Points
1. San Diego State (4) 112
2. San Jose State (5) 111
3. Boise State (2) 99
4. UNLV 83
5. New Mexico 80
6. Fresno State (1) 65
7. Utah State 64
8. Wyoming 51
9. Air Force 47
10. Colorado College 42
11. Colorado State 26
12. UNR 12