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MVC Men's Soccer 2019 Preseason Poll

Missouri State has been tabbed as the team to beat in the 2019 MVC men’s soccer chase in a vote conducted by league coaches. The Bears received 32 points and four first-place votes in the poll to out-distance Loyola (31 points, one first place vote), Drake (22 points, one first place vote) and Bradley (18 points).

2018 MVC champion Central Arkansas represented the MVC in the NCAA Tournament field last fall but will not return to The Valley in 2019 after joining the Sun Belt Conference. The Bears became the 14th team since 1991 to earn an MVC regular season title along with a tournament crown, joining Bradley, Creighton, Missouri State, SMU and Tulsa as the only teams to accomplish the feat.

The Valley will look to build on last season as league teams return 41 starters (62-percent), including four first-team all-conference players and five who earned second-team accolades.

#1 MISSOURI STATE

  • Missouri State returns seven starters from last year’s 9-2-6 (2-2-2 MVC) squad that saw its season end in the MVC Tournament semifinals.
  • Last year, Missouri State was 9-0-4 in non-conference play, earning the Bears their first national ranking (No. 25 in United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I top 25 poll) since 2009.
  • Offensively, junior standout Josh Dolling was the Bears' top point provider in 2018, accumulating 10 goals and 3 assists (23 points) with five game-winning tallies. Dolling’s 0.59 goals per game ranked 29th nationally his sophomore year, while his five game-winning goals ranked 11th. Both figures led the MVC.

#2 LOYOLA

  • Loyola welcomes back seven starters from a 2018 squad that registered a 10-7-2 (3-1-2 MVC) record.
  • The returning starters are highlighted by All-MVC selection Giann Magno along with Aidan Megally and Fabian Becerra.
  • Head Coach Neil Jones will also welcome eight newcomers to Rogers Park, including South Carolina transfer Justin Sukow, who netted eight goals during his two-year stay with the Gamecocks.

#3 DRAKE

  • Drake welcomes back seven starters from last season’s 7-7-3 (1-3-2 MVC) team.
  • Junior Leroy Enzugusi had an outstanding sophomore campaign, scoring a team-high eight goals, earning All-MVC accolades.
  • Senior midfielder Cole Poppen and senior goalkeeper Jared Brown will also be huge returners for the Bulldogs. Poppen led The Valley with eight assists a year ago, while Brown earned All-MVC honors after leading the MVC in save percentage (.848) and saves (95), while posting a 0.93 goals against average.

#4 BRADLEY

  • Bradley returns a league-high eight starters from the team that finished the campaign 8-5-4 (1-5-0 MVC).
  • The Braves were 6-0-4 in its 10 games outside conference play last season. Bradley is unbeaten (7-0-6) in their last 13 non-conference games, which sits as the second-longest streak in program history.
  • Among Bradley’s 14 returning lettermen are the team’s top scorer from each of the past two seasons. Senior forward Roman Schindler led the 2017 Braves with seven goals and 19 points. Junior forward Gerit Wintermeyer led the 2018 Braves with eight goals and 20 points, earning All-MVC honors.

#5 EVANSVILLE

  • Evansville returns seven starters from last season’s 4-8-7 (2-2-2 MVC) team.
  • Despite losing 14 letterwinners from last season’s team, the Aces return much of their attack. UE scored 21 goals last season and 15 of those were recorded by student-athletes who are returning to the pitch, including the top two goal-scorers in Ben Weber and Jesse Stafford-Lacey.

#6 VALPARAISO

  • Valparaiso returns five starters from last season's 5-8-4 (2-1-3 MVC) squad.
  • Valpo will look to build on a strong finish to 2018 as the team closed the regular season with a six-game unbeaten streak. That marked the longest season-ending unbeaten streak in program history.
  • Senior midfielder Demar Rose returns to the lineup for Valpo after earning All-MVC honors last fall. Senior Adan Garcia will be the leading returning scorer from last season after scoring a goal with a team-high three assists.

2019 Preseason All-MVC Team

Nine of the 11 players appearing on the Preseason All-MVC squad earned All-MVC honors last fall.

MVC Non-Conference Schedule By-the-Numbers

The 2019 regular-season campaign begins the weekend of August 29, with all six teams in non-conference action.
Loyola will host the 2019 MVC Championship, Nov. 13, 15 and 17, in Chicago, Illinois, where all six teams will battle it out for the Valley's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

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