Rich Manning (right) was the 2002 MWC Coach of the Year.
Aug. 18, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah was selected as the favorite to capture the Mountain West Conference women's soccer title in a vote by the league's coaches released today.
The Utes collected a total of 34 points (four first-place votes) to capture the top position in the poll. BYU, which collected three first-place votes (33 total points), was picked to finish second in the ballot, followed by New Mexico (26), UNLV (19) and San Diego State (18). Air Force (9) and Wyoming (8) rounded out the voting as they were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
Utah is picked to win its first-ever MWC regular season crown after finishing 13-4-3 last season and advancing to the second round of NCAA Tournament play in its first appearance in school history. The Utes, led by second-year head coach Rich Manning, return 14 letterwinners and six starters from the 2002 squad.
"I hope the conference coaches have accurate crystal balls that they have looked into, and that the results will be the same at the end of the season," said Manning. "We have made progress and gained a lot of confidence in the past year. However, there is a lot of improvement to be made before the Mountain West Conference season begins in October. Until then, we will continue to be focused on reaching our potential as a team."
The Utes tune-up for the approaching season by scrimmaging Nevada on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Ute Field. The public is invited to attend. Utah hosts Colgate in the 2003 regular-season opener on Friday, Aug. 29 at 4:00 p.m.