Men’s Soccer Tabbed to Finish Third per Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Pictured: Dominic Zumpone (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Dominic Zumpone (credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Athletic Conference has announced this year's men's soccer preseason coaches' poll. Capital University Men's Soccer has been predicted to finish third overall, with one believing they could finish as high as first.

Capital finished the 2016 campaign with an overall record of 14-4-2 and spent time inside two different Top-25 polls during the regular season. The Crusaders are coming off a season in which they put together its longest winning streak (10 games) and longest unbeaten streak (14 games) in program history. They earned the No. 3 seed in the OAC Tournament and earned a first-round, double-overtime victory before their season concluded.

Defending regular season and tournament champion John Carroll University was the near-unanimous choice to finish first in the OAC, receiving nine of the possible 10 first-place votes to fuel its 54 total points. Ohio Northern University, who took JCU to penalty kicks in the OAC Tournament Final, finished second with 43, but has Capital nipping at its heels with 41 points. Capital also earned the remaining first-place vote.

Marietta College (22), Otterbein University (16) and the University of Mount Union (14) round out the top six teams expected to qualify for the OAC Tournament. Otterbein is the lone team out of the top six to not have advanced to the postseason in 2016.

Capital is expected to return 18 letter winners, including eight starters, from a season ago. The Crusaders will be veteran-heavy on offense with five returners. Seniors Hunter Stiger and Dominic Zumpone will help anchor a young defense that is expected to help senior keeper Justin Niswonger keep the goal clean for sixth-year head coach Alan Yost.

 
2017 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll


Rank


Team

Points 
(1st Place Votes)

1.

John Carroll

54 (9)

2.

Ohio Northern

43

3.

Capital

41 (1)

4.

Marietta

22

5.

Otterbein

16

6.

Mount Union

14