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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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UCSB Women’s Soccer Picked Third in Big West Preseason Poll

UC Santa Barbara was tabbed to finish third and a pair of Gauchos were chosen to the 2017 Big West Women's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team in the annual poll of the league's coaches, it was announced Thursday.

UCSB earned 59 points in the poll. Long Beach State was picked to win the regular season crown as they were awarded eight of the nine first-place votes and totaled 78 points. Cal State Fullerton had 63 points and was picked second. UC Irvine received one first-place vote and had 54 points to finish fourth, five points behind the Gauchos.

Senior forward Amanda Ball and junior midfielder Mallory Hromatko were each included on the 11-player preseason all-league team.

Ball had 10 goals and one assist for 21 points in her 16 games during the 2016 season and following the year she was selected First Team All-Big West. She was also a second team all-league selection following her sophomore season in 2015.

Hromatko was an Honorable Mention All-Big West in 2016 after scoring four goals and a pair of assists for 10 points. In 2015, she was the league's Freshman of the Year and a first team all-conference honoree after scoring nine goals and six assists for 24 points.

"Amanda and Mallory each deserve to be on the preseason all-conference team," said head coach Paul Stumpf. "They are a big reason why we are picked to finish in the top-three of the Big West this season."

After the top-four of Long Beach, Fullerton, UCSB and Irvine were Cal State Northridge (fifth), Cal Poly (sixth), UC Davis (seventh), UC Riverside (eighth) and Hawai'i (ninth.)

The Gauchos will play their second and final exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 12 when they host North Texas in a 7:00 p.m. match at Harder Stadium. They will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 18 when they host Idaho at 7:00 p.m.

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