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Skyhawks picked No. 10 in preseason rankings

Article Written by Chris Aaland
Published: August 8, 2012
<p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>KANSAS CITY, Kan. </strong>&mdash; The Fort Lewis College women&rsquo;s soccer team is ranked No. 10 in NCAA Division II in today&rsquo;s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire preseason rankings.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s obvious that not only the conference, but the region is getting a lot of attention,&rdquo; said sixth-year FLC head coach Damian Clarke. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an honor and a privilege to have the kind of pressure that we do.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference moved from the North Central Region to the South Central Region in 2012. The new region is comprised of teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic, Lone Star and Heartland conferences. With just six regional berths in the NCAA playoffs, nonconference matchups are critical for postseason consideration.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The defending RMAC tournament champions, Colorado Mines, are picked fifth in the nation. The Orediggers are the only other RMAC team to make it into the NSCAA&rsquo;s Top 25 preseason poll.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Five teams from FLC&rsquo;s region are represented in the Top 16, though: Mines (5), Abilene Christian (7), Fort Lewis (10), Dallas Baptist (15), and Central Oklahoma (16). Midwestern State also received votes.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The 2012 Top 25 is nearly identical to the final 2011 rankings. Saint Rose (N.Y.), the defending NCAA Division II champions, is tabbed to repeat, while runners-up Grand Valley State (Mich.) are picked second.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Fort Lewis (15-3-4 overall, 10-2-2 in the RMAC) finished No. 11 in the nation in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire poll of 2011. The Skyhawks were a hard-luck squad a year ago, narrowly missing out on Central Region, RMAC regular season, and RMAC tournament titles. Fort Lewis advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row, losing to Mines 1-0 in the Central Region championship game on Nov. 18. The Orediggers knocked FLC out in the semifinals of the RMAC tournament in a penalty kick shootout that followed a 1-1 draw through two overtimes on Nov. 4. Fort Lewis finished second in the RMAC regular season title chase, losing to Regis 1-0 on the season&rsquo;s final day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The Skyhawks report to fall training on Sunday, August 12 and hold their first training session of the new season the following day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Fort Lewis holds its annual Alumni Game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 25. The Skyhawks open their season with a huge test when they travel to Wichita Falls, Texas, to face Midwestern State at 4 p.m. (MDT) on Friday, August 31.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">FLC&rsquo;s regular season home opener is against Angelo State (Texas) at noon on Sunday, September 7 at Dirks Field.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">The first rankings of the 2012 regular season will be released on September 4. The NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings are an indicator of week-to-week status in qualified programs. More information about the NSCAA college rankings can be found at <a href="http://www.nscaa.com/rankings/college"><span style="color: #0000ff;">www.nscaa.com/rankings/college</span></a>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p>
 
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