MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The 2019 River States Conference men’s soccer preseason coaches’ poll finds the University of Rio Grande as the conference favorite for the upcoming season.
The poll, which was voted on by the 10 RSC men’s soccer head coaches, was released Thursday night by league officials.
Head coach Scott Morrissey’s program is coming off an incredible 2018 season, which produced a 20-1 overall record and a trip to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA National Championship. The RedStorm, which has won four of the last five RSC Championships, went a perfect 9-0 in the RSC regular season and won another conference tournament title.
Rio Grande, which opens its season at home on August 17 against Saint Xavier University, received 81 points in the preseason poll and earned all nine of its possible first-place votes. Coaches are not being permitted to vote for their own team in the balloting.
WVU Tech was picked second in the poll with 73 points and the remaining first-place vote. The Golden Bears suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to Rio Grande in last year’s RSC Championship finals, finishing 14-2-4 overall and 7-1-1 RSC.
Point Park (Pa.) University was picked third in the poll with 60 points. The Pioneers went 10-6-1 overall, 5-3-1 RSC and are predicted this year in the same spot they finished 2018.
Likewise, Asbury (Ky.) University was chosen fourth in the poll with 56 points. The Eagles were 9-9-1 overall, 5-3-1 RSC for fourth place last year. Continuing the trend was IU East taking fifth in the poll with 48 points. The Red Wolves took fifth place last year at 10-10 overall, 5-4 RSC on their way to an RSC semifinals appearances.
Midway (Ky.) University was predicted sixth in the poll with 41 points, and Brescia (Ky.) University was next in seventh place with 37 points. Brescia (4-4-1 RSC) edged out Midway (4-5 RSC) for the final playoff spot last year and went on to win a quarterfinal game.
Cincinnati Christian University (24 pts.), Ohio Christian University (18 pts.) and Carlow (Pa.) University (12 pts.) rounded out the preseason poll in eighth through 10th place.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.