CLEVELAND - Toledo has been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2013 Mid-American Conference West Division title for a third-consecutive season, according to a coaches' poll released by the league office on Wednesday.
The two-time MAC regular-season champion Rockets received 58 points and four first-place votes in the balloting to edge out Eastern Michigan (52 pts.) and Central Michigan (50 pts.) in the West Division. Following UT, EMU and CMU were Ball State (40 pts.), Western Michigan (29 pts.) and Northern Illinois (23 pts.).
In the East Division, reigning MAC regular-season and tourney champion Miami was picked as the preseason favorite after garnering 66 points and 10 first-place votes. Behind the RedHawks in the division were Kent State (62 pts.), Ohio (40 pts.), Akron (34 pts.), Buffalo (33 pts.) and Bowling Green (16 pts.).
Miami was also the clear-cut choice to claim a MAC-record fifth tourney crown with eight votes, while BSU, CMU, EMU and KSU all received one vote.
Toledo returns seven of its top 10 scorers from last year's team that posted a 7-12-2 overall mark, including a 5-5-1 MAC record. UT finished fourth in the MAC West Division and made its eighth-consecutive postseason appearance. The Rockets also advanced to the MAC Tournament Semifinals for a league-record seventh-consecutive season after outlasting Eastern Michigan, 2-1, on penalty kicks.
Toledo begins its 2013 regular season this weekend facing Minnesota on Friday, Aug. 23 and Belmont two days later at the Gopher Tournament in Minneapolis. The Rockets' season-opening match against the Big Ten member and host Golden Gophers will start at 7:00 p.m. (CT), while their contest versus the Ohio Valley Conference participant Bruins is slated for 11:00 a.m. (CT) at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
2013 MAC Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
MAC West Division (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. TOLEDO – 58 (4)
2. Eastern Michigan – 52 (4)
3. Central Michigan – 50 (3)
4. Ball State – 40 (1)
5. Western Michigan – 29
6. Northern Illinois – 23
MAC East Division
1. Miami – 66 (10)
2. Kent State – 62 (2)
3. Ohio – 40
4. Akron – 34
5. Buffalo – 33
6. Bowling Green – 16
MAC Tournament Champion
Miami (8 votes), Ball State 1, Central Michigan 1, Eastern Michigan 1, Kent State 1