Grotle earns preseason All-Western Athletic Conference accolades on Tuesday
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Junior defender Anka Grotle was named to the preseason All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Team, while the league’s head coaches picked UTSA to finish in a tie for sixth place, the WAC office announced on Tuesday.
The Bremanger, Norway, native became the first player in program history to earn first-team All-Southland Conference accolades in back-to-back campaigns after tallying three goals and an assist in 20 matches a year ago. Grotle, who also earned first-team all-academic laurels, logged a team-high 1,779 minutes on the pitch in 2011. She has started all 43 contests the past two seasons and helped anchor a defense that has produced 18 shutouts, including a school-record 10 in 2010.
The Roadrunners and I-35 rival Texas State each collected 27 points in the preseason rankings, while fellow newcomer Denver received six first-place votes and earned the top spot in the poll with 62 points. The Pioneers were followed by defending WAC Tournament Champion Utah State (59), Seattle (47), San Jose State (38) and Idaho (32). New Mexico State (19) and Louisiana Tech (13) were picked to finish in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
UTSA returns eight starters and 14 letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 9-9-2 and finished fourth in the Southland. The Birds will play a pair of exhibitions (Aug. 8 at Lamar/Aug. 10 vs. TCU) before opening their seventh season at Houston Baptist on Aug. 17.