The Colorado women's soccer team was picked 10th in the Pac-12 preseason coaches' poll released on Tuesday. Stanford, the defending champion, was picked first, ahead of Southern California, California, UCLA and Arizona to round out the top five.
The Buffaloes are coming off a down year following back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, finishing 7-10-3 overall last year and 12th in the Pac-12 with a 1-8-2 record in league play. CU returns four starters from last year, including senior Danica Evans, who tied for the team lead with five goals after transferring from Portland. Joss Orejel returns to anchor the defense after assisting on four goals and scoring one from her left back position, while senior Morgan Stanton and sophomore Sarah Kinzner return to the midfield.
CU also welcomes 10 newcomers, highlighted by transfers Emily Bruder, Isobel Dalton and Megan Massey, and United States U-18 National Team captain Taylor Kornieck. Freshman Kelsey Aaknes joins Kornieck as a four-star recruit, according to Top Drawer Soccer. The team also welcomes back Kahlia Hogg, who missed most of last season with and injury. Hogg started 21 matches in 2014 and had 12 points. Prior to her injury last season, the Buffs were 4-1-1 in her six matches.
Head coach Danny Sanchez is entering his fifth season in Boulder and has a 43-32-10 mark in four seasons with the Buffs and has a career record of 310-92-33 in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
Colorado opens the season on Friday, Aug. 19, at Air Force with its home opener two days later against Colorado State slated for a 3 p.m. kickoff at Prentup Field.