Davenport Edges Saginaw Valley in 2018 GLIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
The votes have been tabulated and the results of the 2018 GLIAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll have put Davenport (33 points, 4 first-place votes) narrowly on top heading into the new season slightly in front of Saginaw Valley (33 points, 3 first-place votes). The defending GLIAC Tournament champion Panthers are eager to build upon last year's inaugural season in the conference. Head coach Chris Hughes' squad welcomes back the reigning GLIAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in Brogan Shrimpton and Stephen Carroll who will make DU a tough team to beat.
Saginaw Valley State sits second in the preseason balloting coming off its sixth NCAA appearance in the past seven seasons. Andy Wagstaff's program brings back five All-GLIAC performers from last season, including reigning GLIAC Freshman of the Year and All-GLIAC First Teamer Michael Hamilton along with All-Midwest Region defender Omar Sinclair.
The defending GLIAC regular season champion Northwood Timberwolves are predicted No. 3 (26 points) after a 9-1-2 league record last season.
No. 4 Purdue Northwest (16 points) looks to make a big splash in its second season in the GLIAC. Grant Ugarte, Michael Brownsea and Isaiah Nieves will lead the Pride and the 18 newcomers who look to make an immediate impact this season. Northern Michigan chimes in at No. 5 (15 points) as the Wildcats plan to continue their upward trend in the programs third year of competition. NMU will rely on a group of four seniors (Kevin Hoof, Sam Popp, Nic Harenda, Carson Burmeister) to take the program back to another conference tournament appearance.
Wisconsin-Parkside (No. 6, 13 points) enters its first season in the conference and are guided by scholar all-region honoree Leki Prpa who was the team leader in goals and points last season. Ashland (No. 7, 11 points) plans to shore up its defense from last season to better compliment the Eagles No. 3 GLIAC scoring average (1.82). AU brings back all-conference honoree Yusuke Yasumasu and sophomore Justin Libertowski.
The new season will kick-off on Thursday, August 30th with GLIAC matches getting underway Friday, September 21st. The 2018 GLIAC Men's Soccer Tournament will consist of six teams with a pair of quarterfinal matches taking place Tuesday, October 30th prior to the semifinal and championship rounds hosted by the highest remaining seed on November 2nd & 4th.