FREELAND, MICH. -- The Trine University men's soccer team has been picked to finish seventh in the 2018 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll.
Trine finished with 39 points to rank seventh of eight teams in this year's poll. Calvin (Mich.) College was selected as the favorite with seven points and seven first-place votes. Adrian (Mich.) College was third with 18 points and Kalamazoo (Mich.) College and Hope (Mich.) College were both tied for third with 20 points.
The preseason poll for MIAA men's soccer awards one point for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own programs.
The Thunder improved their record from a winless mark in 2016, to a five-win season last year (5-7-6 overall) and a spot in the MIAA Tournament.
Headlining the list of returning players in 2018 will be seniors Ben Moricz (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), J.T. Plavchak (Goshen, Ind./Goshen), Kurt Wysocki (Avon, Ohio/St. Edward), Damon Prifogle (Terre Haute, Ind./North Vigo), Kyle Weinscott (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and sophomore Chris Clemens (Angola, Ind./Angola).
Moricz started all 18 games last year and led all returning players in scoring last season with eight total points (three goals and two assists) to rank in a tie for third on the team. Wysocki also started all 18 games in 2017 and scored a pair of goals to end the season with four points. Wainscott played in 12 games and started seven. He took 10 shots, with five shots on goal, but did not score any goals or assists.
Defensively, Trine held its opponents to 1.55 goals per game and helped post three shutout victories. Plavchak, Prifogle and Clemens return to anchor the defense with all three players starting every game they played in last fall. Clemens and Plavchak also contributed offensively with Clemens scoring a goal for two points and Plavchak tallied an assist for one point.
Trine will begin the 2018 season when it hosts Edgewood (Wis.) College on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Weaver Field. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
2018 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
|Place||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|