PHOENIX, AZ – California Baptist sophomore forward Kimberly Allard (Riverside, CA/La Sierra) has been selected as the 2012 Pacific West Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Player of the Year, while her Lancers have been tabbed to repeat as league champions in 2012.
The PacWest broadcast the preseason squad and the predicted order of finish on Thursday, Aug. 30, during the conference's Women's Soccer Media Day on KQCK in San Tan Valley, Ariz.
The head coaches of the PacWest nominate and vote on the preseason team and order of finish. The Preseason All-PacWest Team features 12 players – four forwards and four midfielders, three defenders and a goalkeeper who is dubbed the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year in the league.
Allard led the Lancers to the PacWest Championship and the National Christian College Athletic Association title after her team posted an 18-2-1 overall mark and a 10-1-1 record in its first season in the league. She posted 29 points on 10 goals and nine assists while getting credit for a quartet of game-winners.
California Baptist received 11 out of 14 first-place votes en route to 189 total points and the nod as the team to beat in the conference. Grand Canyon totaled 161 points and is predicted to finish second – without receiving one first-place vote.
Azusa Pacific earned the remaining three first-place votes and totaled 159 points to finish third in the preseason poll. BYU-Hawaii (153), Point Loma (134) and Hawai'i Pacific (131) wound up fourth through sixth, respectively.
Dixie State (120), Notre Dame de Namur (100), Fresno Pacific (73), Hawai'i Hilo (65) and Dominican (62) are ranked seventh through 11th, respectively, while Academy of Art (53), Holy Names (50) and Chaminade (20) round out the poll from 12th through 14th.
BYU-Hawaii junior netminder Megan McCain (Northglenn, CO/Broomfield) – the PacWest Goalkeeper of the Year and a First Team All-Conference selection in 2010 – earned the honor as the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. In 2011, McCain was an All-PacWest Honorable Mention after posting a 12-3-1 record with six shutouts, a .796 save percentage, a 0.67 goals against average, and 39 saves in 16 starts. She spent 1335:17 in net.
In addition to Allard, the contingent of forwards on the preseason team includes Dixie State sophomore Jennifer Mason (Springville, UT/Springville), Azusa Pacific senior Natalie Sun (Encinitas, CA/Santa Fe Christian) and HPU senior Kaua Wall (Kealakekua, HI/Konawaena).
Wall, a 2011 First Team selection, scored nine times with two assists and finished the season with 20 points. She was credited with a trio of game-winners for the Vulcans.
Mason, a 2011 Second Team choice, punched in nine goals and added an assist for 19 points. She tallied one game-winner for the Red Storm.
Sun totaled 22 points for the Cougars on 10 goals and two assists. She scored six game-winners and converted her lone penalty kick attempt.
The midfield quartet featured NDNU sophomore Massiel Castellanos (San Mateo, CA/Woodside Priory), Fresno Pacific senior Jae Slocum (Fresno, CA/Buchanan), HPU junior Sanoe Souza (Lawai, HI/Kapalama Schools-Kapalama) and California Baptist junior Bernadette Witz (Temecula, CA/Temecula Valley).
A 2011 Honorable Mention, Castellanos amassed 14 points on six goals and two assists while recording a pair of game-winning goals. She also converted her lone penalty kick attempt.
Slocum finished the 2011 campaign with 10 points on three goals and four assists for the Sunbirds, while Souza – a 2011 Second Team member and a 2010 Honorable Mention – had 16 points on five goals and six assists. She also had a game-winning goal and was 1 for 1 on penalty kick attempts.
Witz posted 11 points on five goals and an assist for the Lancers, recording a pair of game-winners in the process.
The preseason defensive squad is comprised of the same three players who earned All-PacWest First Team honors in 2012 – Dixie State senior Kelsey Tesoro (Las Vegas, NV/Palo Verde), Grand Canyon junior Cierra Valdez (Phoenix, AZ/Westview), and California Baptist junior Kristen Witchey (Santa Barbara, CA/Dos Pueblos).
Tesoro is a three-time All-PacWest selection after earning First Team honors last year and in 2010, and an Honorable Mention in 2009. Valdez and Witchey garnered their first awards in 2011.
Last season Valdez contributed six points on three goals – all game-winners – while Witchey had a goal and an assist and Tesoro had one helper.