MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia men’s soccer team has been voted to finish third in the 2018 Mid-American Conference preseason poll.
In a vote by the league’s head coaches, the Mountaineers finished third with 24 points, two points behind second-place Western Michigan, who received 26 points and one first-place vote. Akron was picked to win the league with 35 total points and five first-place votes.
SIU Edwardsville was fourth with 18 points, followed by Bowling Green (15 points) in fifth and Northern Illinois (8 points) in sixth. Akron also was unanimously voted to repeat as MAC Tournament champions in 2018.
Akron finished 16-3-1 in 2017 and reached the NCAA College Cup. Western Michigan, the reigning MAC regular-season champions, also is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance after advancing to the third round.
West Virginia went 9-6-4 last season and finished fourth in the MAC. The conference’s RPI was ranked No. 4 in the country in 2017.
The Mountaineers’ 2018 season commences this weekend with a pair of matches in three days in Charleston, South Carolina. The season opener is on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. ET, at the College of Charleston, while the weekend concludes on Sunday, Aug. 26, with a neutral-site matchup against UNC Wilmington.
WVU’s MAC slate begins on Oct. 6, at Western Michigan. WVU travels to Akron on Oct. 13 before back-to-back conference home matches, against SIUE on Oct. 20 and Bowling Green on Oct. 26. The regular season concludes on Nov. 3, at NIU. West Virginia’s complete 18-match schedule can be found on WVUsports.com.
The Mountaineers’ 25-man roster features 16 lettermen from a year ago, including nine that played in at least 15 matches in 2017. Eight newcomers also join the team.
2018 MAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Akron - 35 total points (5 First Place Votes)
Western Michigan - 26 (1)
West Virginia – 24
SIUE - 18
Bowling Green - 15
Northern Illinois - 8
MAC Tournament Champion: Akron (6 votes)
(All information provided by WVU Athletics.)