LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland men’s soccer was selected second in the Mid-South Conference in a poll of league coaches released Wednesday by the conference office.
Cumberland tied for second in the regular season before winning the Mid-South Conference Tournament last season, earning an automatic berth into the NAIA Championship Opening Round. Second-year head coach Adam Grant returns nine starters, including MSC Freshman of the Year Tyler Watson as well as First Team All-Mid-South performers Bennet Strutz, Sondre Risa, Markus Skraastad and Daniel Williams as well as Second Team honoree Bakary Bagayogo.
“We have a great group of players who are focused on building on the success of last year,” Grant said. “We don’t pay much attention to preseason polls but continue to press forward with hard work as we head toward the start of the season.”
Williams led the Mid-South Conference and ranked 13th nationally in total goals per game. He ranked first in the country with eight game-winning goals and 17th in total points with 40, adding four assists.
Bagayogo led the Phoenix with nine assists while tallying five goals and Watson posted nine goals and five assists in his freshman campaign. Skraastad also handed out six assists for Cumberland, which finished 15-3-2, 5-1-1 in the Mid-South.
Risa and Strutz anchored the CU defense that allowed just 18 goals in 20 matches, including 12 shutouts. The 6-foot-6 Strutz collected 55 saves with a 0.76 goals-against-average and nine solo shutouts.
Lindsey Wilson posted six first-place votes and 48 total points for first place with Cumberland in second with 40 points. Campbellsville University was third with one first-place vote and 38 points while the Life University got the remaining first-place vote and 31 points.
The University of the Cumberlands ranked fifth with 28 points and Georgetown College (17), the University of Pikeville (13) and Shawnee State (9) rounded out the poll.
Cumberland plays an exhibition game at home Saturday, August 18 at 2 p.m. against Carson-Newman and begins the regular season Saturday, Aug. 25 at Christian Brothers at 4 p.m.
2018 Mid-South Conference Men's Soccer
Preseason Coaches' Poll
|No.||School (First-Place Votes)||Points||2017 Record|
|1.||Lindsey Wilson (6)||48||14-4-0, 7-0-0|
|2.||Cumberland University||40||15-3-2, 5-1-1|
|3.||Campbellsville University (1)||38||14-5-2, 5-1-1|
|4.||Life University (1)||31||9-9-0, 3-4-0|
|5.||University of the Cumberlands||28||8-7-3, 4-3-0|
|6.||Georgetown College||17||7-10-1, 2-5-0|
|7.||University of Pikeville||13||4-12-1, 1-6-0|
|8.||Shawnee State||9||2-17-0, 0-7-0|