CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Simpson men's soccer team has been picked fifth in the American Rivers Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office earlier this week. Defending conference tournament champion Loras was picked to win the league, followed closely by regular season champion Luther.
The Storm and eighth-year head coach Rick Isaacson return 18 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's squad that went 15-3-2 and finished third in the conference with a mark of 5-2-1. Simpson advanced to the conference tournament semifinals for the third straight season and finished one win shy of tying the school's single-season record.
Among the Storm's returners are all-conference forward Tanner Alderson and all-conference goalkeeper Jake Potratz. Alderson finished second in the league with 16 goals a year ago while Potratz posted a 0.95 goals against average as a rookie. Alderson's goal total trailed only teammate and league offensive MVP Garrett Pochop, who graduated after the fall semester.
Simpson opens the regular season on the home pitch Friday, Aug. 31 against Augustana (Ill.). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Buxton Stadium.
1. Loras (14-6-1, 6-2)
2. Luther (11-4-5, 6-1-1)
3. Dubuque (8-6-3, 4-2-2)
4. Wartburg (8-5-5, 3-3-2)
5. Simpson (15-3-2, 5-2-1)
6. Nebraska Wesleyan (11-7-1, 5-3)
7. Central (10-6, 3-5)
8. Buena Vista (4-13-1, 1-7)
9. Coe (3-14, 0-8)