KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- (BUY TICKETS) The two teams to win the last five combined Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular-season championships were again selected on top of the WAC Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches Poll, announced today by the conference office. The Kansas City Women's Soccer program, who won the 2018 regular-season championship for the second-straight year, posted 52 total points and two first-place votes to take the No. 2 preseason ranking. Seattle U, the tournament champion, is No. 1 with 61 points and six first-place nods.
Sophomore midfielder Rylan Childers and senior defender Abby Small were selected as the WAC Preseason Offensive and Preseason Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. The tandem also were listed on the Preseason All-WAC Team, joined by senior defender Halle Hamilton.
Childers, a native of Grain Valley, Mo., led the conference last season in points (36), assists (14) and tied for the conference lead in goals (11). She became the first Roo freshman to be named to the Top Drawer Soccer Freshman All-America Second Team. Childers also was the WAC Freshman of the Year ranking in the Top 50 in the NCAA in five statistical categories.
Small is a two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Year, being an integral cog to the Roo defense. She is coming off a season performance being named to the United Soccer Coaches Pacific All-Region Third Team and All-WAC First Team. Small was a mainstay in the back line that posted 10 shutouts in 21 matches, allowing a mere 19 goals (.905).
Hamilton is a two-time All-WAC selection, having earning a First Team nod in 2017 and a Second Team selection in 2018. In her three seasons on defense, the unit has recorded 27 combined shutouts in 63 matches played (42.9% of overall matches).
The Roos have won three of the last five regular-season titles after posting a school-record 16-5-0 mark last year. Three-time WAC Coach of the Year Chris Cissell welcomes eight starters back, but lose three All-WAC First Teamers, including United Soccer Coaches Pacific All-Region First Team pick Reighan Childers, older sister of Rylan.
Last year, Kansas City was the Preseason No. 1 pick followed by Utah Valley and Seattle U.
The Roos open up the 2019 season with an exhibition match against South Dakota State on Saturday at 5 p.m. from Durwood Soccer Stadium.