DENVER – Seattle University women’s soccer has been voted the favorite in the 2019 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Tuesday by the conference. It marks the sixth time in the last seven seasons that SU has been picked to win the league according to the preseason rankings.

Seniors Rachel Bowler and Jessie Ray were both selected to the All-WAC Preseason Team.

SU received six first-place votes and 61 points to claim the top spot in the poll. Kansas City placed second with two first-place votes, while UTRGV and Utah Valley earned the next slots. Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield were next, with New Mexico State and California Baptist tying for seventh. Chicago State rounded out the rankings.

In 2018, the Redhawks won the WAC Tournament for fourth time in six years. They return a strong group of contributors, led by Bowler and Ray. Bowler was an All-WAC First Team choice last season, starting 20 games on defense and scoring three goals. Ray put up eight goals and seven assists, leading SU in both categories, on her way to All-WAC Second Team honors.

Coach Julie Woodward, entering her 23rd season at Seattle U, has guided the Redhawks to four WAC regular-season crowns since 2013. SU is the lone Division I program to appear in each of its last six conference championship matches.

The Redhawks open the 2019 regular season on Thursday, Aug. 22, as Washington State visits Championship Field.