UWM Women Top Preseason Poll For Fifth Straight Year
Aug. 17, 2004
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team has been selected as the league favorite in the Horizon League Coaches' Preseason Poll, the league office announced today. It is the fifth consecutive season the Panthers have been picked first, having won regular-season league titles in each of the previous four.
"We've had this distinction the last five years now," said head coach Michael Moynihan. "It puts a big target on us for everyone else, but it shows the other teams still respect us and are hungry to beat us. It will be challenging."
UWM garnered five-of-six possible first-place votes in the eight-team league, as coaches are unable to vote for their own team. Milwaukee accumulated 47 points to finish ahead of Butler (41) in second and Detroit (37) in third, who received one first place vote apiece.
The Panthers have had unprecedented success over the past four seasons. Aside from the regular season titles, UWM has amassed a 21-1-1 (.935) record in league play over that time. Included in that figure is a league-record 21-game unbeaten streak which ended last season with a 2-1 loss at UW-Green Bay.
"Even though we won (the regular season championship) last year, our team still showed vulnerability," said Moynihan. "We credit that to the level of play in our league getting higher."
Rounding out this year's poll was last year's league tournament champions, Loyola, and UW-Green Bay tied for fourth with 28 points, Wright State (25) in sixth and Cleveland State and Youngstown State tying for seventh with 10 points apiece. The Vikings are a first-year program, while last year the Penguins won their first league game since joining the Horizon League in 2000.
Milwaukee returns Horizon League Second-Team selections Elizabeth Chudy and Brenda Andrews from last year's 9-9-1 squad. UWM opens its season at the Howard Johnson Milwaukee Cup, Aug. 27, against South Dakota State at Valley Field.