Aug. 20, 1997
Notre Dame Picked to Win BIG EAST Women's Soccer Title
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Notre Dame's two-time defending BIG EAST women's soccer champion has been unanimously selected to win its third title, according to the preseason coaches' poll. The Irish received a maximum of 121 points while Connecticut was picked to finish second. Rutgers, Syracuse and Boston College round out the top five.
Notre Dame and Connecticut have battled it out for the title both years that the Irish have competed in the BIG EAST Conference and 1997 looks to be no different. Notre Dame and Connecticut are the only two BIG EAST teams ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll. The Irish are ranked second while the Huskies are ranked fourth.
In 1995, Connecticut defeated the Irish 5-4 in overtime in the regular season but Notre Dame won 1-0 in the BIG EAST championship finals. In 1996, the Irish traveled to Connecticut won 2-1 in the regular season and used another one-goal win 4-3 in the BIG EAST title game. Connecticut travels to Notre Dame on Oct. 26 in the next meeting between the two teams in the 1997 regular season.
The BIG EAST will be 12 teams strong in 1997 with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse in 1997. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the BIG EAST championship at Yurek Field with the semifinals to be held November 7, and the champion will be crowned on November 9.
Notre Dame women's soccer will face Missouri in an exhibition game on Sun., Aug. 24, at 1:00 p.m. at Alumni Field. The season-opener for the Irish will be on Fri., Aug. 29, at Alumni Field against St. John's at 7:30 p.m.
1997 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
School Points 1996 BIG EAST Record 1996 BIG EAST Finish 1. Notre Dame (11) 121 9-0-0 1st 2. Connecticut (1) 111 8-1-0 2nd 3. Rutgers 101 6-3-0 3rd 4. Syracuse 79 NA NA 5. Boston College 77 4-5-0 6th 6. Villanova 72 5-4-0 4th 7. West Virginia 64 4-4-1 5th 8. St. John's 50 3-5-1 7th 9. Seton Hall 46 3-6-0 8th 10. Georgetown 28 1-8-0 T9th 11. Providence 24 1-8-0 T9th 12. Pittsburgh 19 NA NA