Saginaw Valley Favored, Davenport Second in 2017 GLIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
The votes have been tabulated and the results of the 2017 GLIAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll have put Saginaw Valley State (33 points) on top heading into the new season. The defending GLIAC regular season champion SVSU Cardinals have recorded five NCAA appearances in the last six seasons and will have Honorable Mention All-American Matt Wilson back along with last year's GLIAC Freshman of the Year, Roddy Green.
GLIAC newcomer Davenport (29 points) rings in at No. 2 in the preseason balloting with a chance to make some noise after going 20-2-3 overall and advancing to the NAIA National Semifinals last season. Despite the recent success, the new season will see head coach Chris Hughes needing to replace losing his top three scorers on offense. Brogan Shrimpton and Cam Cavanagh will be relied upon to lead the Panthers to the top.
The Tiffin Dragons were predicted No. 3 (28 points) after capturing the GLIAC Tournament title last season and making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. TU has a strong non-conference schedule with some national powers on the docket but the Dragons firey offensive attack is up for the challenge. Tiffin led the league in shots and goals last season, while pitching six shutouts on the defensive end last season.
A strong core of Northwood returnees position the Timberwolves at No. 4 (21 points) will give 17-year head coach Doug Carter hopes of another GLIAC title chase after NU captured both the regular season and tournament titles two seasons ago. Senior James Vaughan earned First Team All-GLIAC honors as a Midfielder in 2016, while Sophomore Josh Wates and senior Zachary Bakos will lead the Northwood program.
Northern Michigan will enter its second year of the program's existence as the No. 5 (15 points) team with 16 returning members from a competitive squad in 2016. Ashland (No. 6, 14 points) and Purdue Northwest (No. 7, 7 points) round out the preseason poll as both programs look to upset some favorites in what will be a highly competitive GLIAC Men's Soccer season.
The new season will kick-off on Thursday, August 31st with GLIAC matches getting underway Friday, September 8th. The 2016 GLIAC Men's Soccer Tournament will consist of six teams with the quarterfinal round beginning on Tuesday, October 31st with semifinal action taking place Friday, November 3rd followed by the championship match on Sunday, November 5th.