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UVU soccer: DeWaal named to preseason all-WAC team

Breanna DeWaal sends the ball up the field in a match against CSU Bakersfield.
Breanna DeWaal sends the ball up the field in a match against CSU Bakersfield.
Jay Drowns, UVU Athletics

The Utah Valley University women's soccer team was selected to finish in a tie for fourth in the 2017 Western Athletic Conference Preseason Poll, while sophomore midfielder Breanna DeWaal was named to the WAC Preseason All-WAC team. The conference preseason poll and preseason awards were determined by the league's head coaches and announced Wednesday by the league.

After finishing fifth in the WAC standings last season with a 3-3-1 league record, UVU was projected to finish in a tie for fourth this year after receiving 32 points. The Seattle U Redhawks were picked to repeat as champions after winning the WAC regular season and tournament titles in 2016. SU received seven first-place votes for a total of 49 points. Kansas City was second in the poll with 36 points and one first-place vote, while Grand Canyon was picked third with 34 points.

Utah Valley and CSU Bakersfield tied for the fourth spot with 32 points apiece, while UT Rio Grande Valley was sixth with 18 points. New Mexico State (15) and Chicago State (eight) rounded out the poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

DeWaal was named to the preseason all-WAC team after leading the Wolverines and the WAC with 67 shots during her freshman season last year. She also led UVU with 23 shots on goal and ranked second on the team in goals scored (four) and assists (four). DeWaal was the lone freshman named to the 2016 All-WAC first team. She was one of 11 WAC players to earn preseason all-WAC honors.

"It's well-deserved," said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. "She's a huge part of our program and orchestrates our attack. She's a two-sided player as she's a threat with her pass and her shot."

CSU Bakersfield's Sabrina Delgado was named the WAC's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Seattle U's Stephanie Spiekerman earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The Wolverines' 2017 season officially gets underway on Friday, Aug. 18, at Hawaii. Kickoff for the match is set for 11 p.m. MT. UVU opens its home slate on Sept. 8, against Wyoming.

Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.