The Ashland University men's soccer team was picked to finish seventh in the GLIAC standings in the preseason coaches' poll released by the league office Wednesday (Aug. 8) morning.
The Eagles, entering their third season since the program was reinstated, will look to improve on last year's 7-9-1 overall mark. Ashland missed the GLIAC Tournament by a point, going 2-9-1 in conference play with wins over Purdue Northwest and eventual GLIAC champion Davenport.
Ashland returns 68 percent of its goal-scoring from last season, led by junior Andrew Pearson and sophomore Justin Libertowski, who tallied five goals apiece. The Eagles ranked third in the conference with 31 goals last year. Every field player who appeared for Ashland last season was a freshman or sophomore.
Also returning will be redshirt-junior Tomas Cordeiro, who led the team with four goals in 2016 before missing last season due to injury. Division I transfer Kieran Paterson saw time in just one game last season because of injury and should make an impact in the attacking area.
Led by head coach Oliver Slawson, the Eagles looked to improve in the midfield and the back line in the offseason, seeing better quality possession and gaining results against high-caliber teams in the spring. Ashland also went 5-0 last fall against nonconference opponents, including wins over Findlay and Gannon – both of which finished in the top three in their respective conference standings.
The Eagles open the season Aug. 31 at home against Lake Erie at 3:30 p.m. AU's first five games will be at Ferguson Field.
The full GLIAC preseason coaches' poll follows.
|School (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Davenport (4)||33|
|2. Saginaw Valley State (3)||32|
|4. Purdue Northwest||16|
|5. Northern Michigan||15|