RSC Sports Information
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The University of Rio Grande is the consensus favorite in the 2017 River States Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll.
The RedStorm, coming off a 21-2-2 record and NAIA national runner-up finish in 2016, got every possible first-place vote in the RSC voting conducted by the league's coaches.
Head coach Scott Morrissey's squad was voted as the top team by all nine of the other coaches in the conference and earned the highest possible vote total of 81. The RedStorm has won the conference postseason tournament the last three years and has had the outright or a share of the regular-season championship the last three years as well.
Rio Grande ended last year at No. 2 in the NAIA Top 25 Poll.
WVU Tech (18-3-2 in 2016) is second in the poll with 73 votes and the remaining first-place tally. The Golden Bears spent much of last year ranked as well and reached the final 16 teams of the NAIA national tournament before losing in overtime.
WVU Tech tied Rio Grande in last year's conference standings at 7-0-1.
Midway (Ky.) University (10-8-1, 6-2 RSC) came in third in the poll coming off a 10-win season and a third-place showing last year - its inaugural season of men's soccer. The Eagles earned 62 votes in the poll and were an RSC semifinalist a year ago.
Asbury (Ky.) University (11-8-1, 3-5 RSC) took fourth in the poll with 55 points, just in front of Point Park (Pa.) University (9-9-1, 3-5 RSC) with 54 points. Asbury reached the conference semifinals last year and Point Park was a playoff team as well.
Brescia (Ky.) University (9-8, 3-5 RSC) is projected to be the final playoff qualifier in sixth place. The Bearcats earned a postseason spot last year and this season got 37 points in the preseason vote.
Ohio Christian University (2-6 RSC) is picked seventh with 30 points, followed by Cincinnati Christian University (3-5 RSC) in eighth with 24 points. IU East, which is in its first year competing as a men's soccer program, was picked ninth with 21 points, and Carlow was picked 10th with 13 points.