BYU women's soccer Jamie Shepherd

BYU freshman Jamie Shepherd (12) works the ball upfield during at match against Colorado College at South Field on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019.

BYU women’s soccer was picked to win its third-straight West Coast Conference title in the annual WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

The preseason poll and All-WCC team were selected solely by a vote of the conference’s 10 head coaches. Coaches cannot vote for their own teams and student-athletes.

The Cougars finished 21-1-1 in 2019 and were one of three WCC programs to earn bids to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. BYU advanced to the quarterfinals, Santa Clara reached the third round and Pepperdine lost in the first round in a penalty kick shootout.

BYU received the best possible score in the preseason poll with nine first-place votes and 81 points. Santa Clara was second with 73 points and one first-place vote, while Pepperdine (65 points), Gonzaga (54) and Portland (45) rounded out the top five. The second half includes San Francisco (45), San Diego (30), LMU (23), Saint Mary’s (19) and Pacific (12).

The All-WCC Preseason Spring Women’s Soccer Team includes 11 of the conference’s best players and is highlighted by the reigning WCC Player of the Year Mikayla Colohan from BYU, the 2019 WCC Defensive Player of the Year in Alex Loera from Santa Clara, and Izzy D’Aquila from Santa Clara, the WCC’s top freshman last season.

Colohan was joined on the WCC all-preseason list by teammates Jamie Shepherd, a sophomore midfielder, and Cameron Tucker, a senior forward.

Shepherd started 22 games in 2019 as a true freshman out of American Fork (Utah) High School. She tallied two goals and four assists on her way to being named to the WCC All-Freshman Team and All-WCC honorable mention.

Tucker, from Highland, Utah, registered 12 goals and nine assists in 2019. She started all 23 games for the Cougars in 2019 and scored four game-winning goals. She was named 2019 All-WCC honorable mention.

The 2020-21 WCC spring women’s soccer season is set to open on Friday, Jan. 29, when Pepperdine plays at LMU.

The Cougars open with an exhibition match against Weber State at the Zions Bank Real Academy indoor facility in Herriman on Saturday. BYU takes on Utah in Herriman on Feb. 6.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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