San Diego Mesa edges the field in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference preseason poll

San Diego Mesa is the preseason pick to win the PCAC title this year.
San Diego Mesa is the preseason pick to win the PCAC title this year.

SAN DIEGO - The women's soccer season kicks off this week and San Diego Mesa College was chosen by the sports information directors to win the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.  The Olympians edged out Southwestern College in what would seem to be a close race for the PCAC title.

The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference received a bit of a makeover this offseason when San Bernardino Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College and College of the Desert left the conference to join the new Inland Empire Conference.  In addition, Cuyamaca College will be back in action this season after a one-year hiatus.

With that being said, the sports information directors from the conference took time to this week to cast ballots and predict a winner.  San Diego Mesa tallied three first place votes in gaining the praise of the SID's, narrowly edging out Southwestern College, MiraCosta College, San Diego City College and Grossmont College.

Mesa finished 11-5-5 overall and 6-2 in PCAC play last season, finishing in second place in the PCAC South.  The Olympians defeated rival Southwestern (2-0) in the CCCAA Regional Playoffs before falling to Santa Barbara City College (1-3) in the next round of the playoffs.  Mesa returns a solid nucleus of player and has qualified for the CCCAA Playoffs in six straight seasons. 

Southwestern College was chosen to finish second in the PCAC this season, collecting one first place vote and three second place votes.  The Jaguars won the PCAC South with a 6-0-2 record last fall, finishing 12-6-4 overall.  Southwestern qualified for the regional playoffs for a second straight time last year, eventually falling to Mesa in the opening round (0-2).  Despite losing a handful of sophomores to graduation, Southwestern has a number of talented players returning in an attempt to make a run at a third straight appearance in the playoffs.

MiraCosta didn't take home any first place votes from the sports information directors, but still finished third in the voting on the strength of three third place votes.  The Spartans were 8-10-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the PCAC North, finishing in third place in conference play.  MiraCosta last qualified for the playoffs in 2017 after a 17-year drought dating back to 2003.  They eventually fell to Antelope Valley College, 0-1, but would love to get that taste of the playoffs back in their mouths after missing the playoffs last fall.

San Diego City took home one first place vote in finishing fourth in the voting.  The Knights had a tough run in 2018, finishing 3-12-5 overall and 0-4-4 in PCAC South play.  San Diego City had just three sophomores on the roster last fall, giving them one of the youngest squads in the state.  If the youth returns, they could have one of the more experienced lineups in 2019.

Grossmont was chosen fifth by the sports information directors, taking home one third place vote and three fourth place votes.  The Griffins were 7-6-5 overall and 2-3-4 in the PCAC South, finishing in third place.  Like MiraCosta, Grossmont last qualified for the regional playoffs in 2017 after a long dry spell.  The Griffins were one of the best defensive teams in the PCAC last season despite having one of the youngest back lines in the conference.  If most of those players return, they could be a difficult challenge for opposing offenses.

PCAC Sports Information Poll

Place Team Points
1 San Diego Mesa (3) 43
2 Southwestern (1) 39
3 MiraCosta 31
4 San Diego City (1) 30
5 Grossmont 29
T6 San Diego Miramar 15
T6 Palomar 15
8 Imperial Valley 12
9 Cuyamaca 11

(Courtesy Brad Hoiseth, PCAC)