MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande is predicted as the top team in the 2018 River States Conference Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
The RedStorm received every possible first-place vote from the league’s head coaches and tallied 72 points in the poll released Tuesday afternoon by league officials.
Rio Grande, which debuted at No. 16 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll last week, had a record of 14-2-2 overall, 8-0-1 RSC last season.
Head coach Scott Morrissey’s squad opened the 2018 campaign last weekend with shutout wins over Saint Xavier University and Roosevelt University in Chiago. The RedStorm will open the home portion of their schedule against Indiana Tech on Saturday night.
WVU Tech, which defeated Rio Grande in the 2017 RSC Tournament championship game, came in second in the preseason poll and was the only school besides Rio to receive a first-place vote.
The Golden Bears were 8-10-4 overall, 6-2-1 RSC last year and won the conference tournament advancing on PKs in the semifinals and finals.
The next four teams in the poll were separated by just three votes.
Point Park (Pa.) University placed third in the poll after a season of 11-6 overall, 6-3 RSC last year and garnered 49 votes in the poll. Asbury (Ky.) University came in fourth with 48 votes and is coming of a record of 11-6-1, 6-2-1 RSC and a conference semifinals berth in 2017.
Next up are Midway (Ky.) University and IU East, who tied for fifth with 46 votes each. Midway reached the RSC finals last year with a final record of 10-5-2, 6-2-1 RSC. IU East was 9-9-2 overall in its first year of soccer and won a playoff game to make the conference semifinals.
Brescia (Ky.) University placed seventh with 26 votes, and Cincinnati Christian University was next in eighth with 24 votes. Ohio Christian University (19) and Carlow (Pa.) University (11) finished out the 10 teams.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.