Valparaiso University's women's soccer team has been picked to finish fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference for the 2004 season according to the preseason poll as selected by the league's head coaches.
Head coach Stephen Anthony's squad is coming off of a 3-11-3 season overall and a 1-2-3 mark in Mid-Con play, finishing in fifth place in 2003. The Crusaders earned 19 points in the league poll.
Oakland, the defending conference champions, was tabbed to repeat as champions, while Oral Roberts was selected second. Centenary was selected to finish just ahead of Valpo, while IUPUI and Western Illinois tied for fifth in the balloting. Southern Utah rounds out the preseason poll.
First place votes earned six points in the poll on a scale that saw one point issued for a sixth place pick. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Crusaders will open up their 2004 regular season on Friday, August 27, as Valpo heads to Normal, Ill. to battle Illinois State in a 4 p.m. kickoff.
2004 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll
1. Oakland (6) - 36
2. Oral Roberts (1) - 31
3. Centenary - 24
4. Valparaiso - 19
5. IUPUI - 14
Western Illinois - 14
7. Southern Utah - 10