2020-21 SLIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

Despite four different teams receiving a first-place vote Iowa Wesleyan University is still the overwhelming favorite this spring in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's soccer competition. However after the Tigers the next four teams all were within eight points of each other which should lead for an intense battle in the standings.

#1 Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan received six first-place votes, accounting for a total of 67 points from the coaches voting. The Tigers won the regular season title last season, going 8-0-1 in conference play however they will be breaking in a new coach, Sierra Galeas. Galeas will have All-Conference standouts Francisco Javier Saldana, Cesar Arroyo, and Carlos Mateo Moreno on the roster to turn to. Saldana paced the team with 10 goals and 5 assists last season while Moreno added 5 goals and 5 assists. Arroyo, a senior midfielder, will bridge the offense and defense. Top newcomers include Giovani Pacheco, Christian Rios, and Vincent Sanchis Olmedo.

Last Season Overall Record: 9-8-2

Last Season SLIAC Record: 8-0-1

Head Coach: Sierra Galeas

Starters Returning: 6

#2 Spalding University

Spalding came in 2nd on the poll with 48 total points. Head Coach Adam Boyer brings back five starters from a team that went 13-5-3 overall and reached the SLIAC championship game. One needs look no further than in goal, where junior keeper Trevor Massa roams, to see the strength of the Golden Eagles. Massa, the reigning SLIAC Defensive Player of the Year, finished with a 0.79 goals-against average and 96 saves and seven shutouts last season. All-Conference player Jacob Bass tallied 1 goal and 2 assists last year and will be joined by Chris Encarnacion in the midfield. Caleb Jackson, a team captain, is a sophomore defender that played in 19 games as a freshman. The Golden Eagles will have to replace three-time All-Region forward Kornell Hilliard but hope that newcomers Ahmadou Gueye and Ethan Eckert can add to the offensive attack.

Last Season Overall Record: 13-5-3

Last Season SLIAC Record: 6-2-1

Head Coach: Adam Boyer

Starters Returning: 5

#3 Greenville University

Greenville was picked 3rd in the poll with 46 total points, receiving one first-place vote. The Panthers went 10-9 last year but bring back a whopping 22 players including eight starters. Leading the way is one of the more explosive scorers in the league, junior forward Jared McPeek. McPeek has already tallied 27 goals in his first two years and was a Second Team All-SLIAC selection in 2019. He is joined up front by junior Napoleon Urquidi, who netted 7 goals and 2 assists. Sophomore midfielder Luis Duran gives the Panthers a trio of All-Conference picks. Head Coach Chris Swift has some openings on the back end with the graduations of defender Ruben Martinez and keeper Nick Holland. Some of the new faces that you could see on the field are Henrique Rhoden, Pablo Valverde, and Claudio Trevino.

Last Season Overall Record: 10-9

Last Season SLIAC Record: 6-3

Head Coach: Chris Swift

Starters Returning: 8

#4 Webster University

Webster picked up one first-place nod and finished 4th in the poll with 44 total points. The Gorloks were 11-6-1 one year ago but return a strong group of players that include eight seniors and seven former All-Conference players. Aamahn Murvin led the team with 8 goals and 3 assists last year and will be the focus on offense once again. In the midfield they feature Isaac Pearson and Justin Kohler while on the back line it will be Cam Killian, Dylan Jannin, and Tanner Haugen looking to fill the hole left by Justin Schmidt's graduation. In net they have the very capable duo of Matt Amick and Matt Coffey while Hunter Olaso is a senior that fills any role necessary on the team.

Last Season Overall Record: 11-6-1

Last Season SLIAC Record: 5-4

Head Coach: Mike Siener

Starters Returning: n/a

#5 Westminster College

Finishing 5th on the poll was Westminster with 40 total points including the final remaining first-place vote. Westminster went 5-12-1 last season but brings back 10 starters and 25 players. Head Coach Adam Galla's lone loss was in net, with the graduation of Connor Bandre but he brings in 11 freshmen and 4 transfers. His heavily experienced team features 10 seniors that will be looking to close out their careers. Among those seniors are All-Conference performers Justin Gerdiman and Sam Heckart. Gerdiman, a forward, led the team with 7 goals and 4 assists while Heckart, a defender, added 3 goals from his position. Patrick Wisnewski, a forward, is a former All-Conference pick as is defender Josh Udinyiwe. Sophomore Freddy Nene showed promise as a freshman in 2019, earning All-Tournament honors. Among the incoming class of players is Francois Moua, Quinn VanDyke, and Bukuru Dieudone.

Last Season Overall Record: 5-12-1

Last Season SLIAC Record: 5-4

Head Coach: Adam Galla

Starters Returning: 10

#6 Principia College

Principia College came in 6th on the poll, totaling 37 points. It will be a new look Panthers team after the loss of standouts Kaden Keller, Cam Sellars, and former two-time SLIAC Player of the Year Kaleb Keller. Head Coach Jess Semnacher returns three starters on a team that went 12-7 and captured the SLIAC Championship the last time they were on their home turf. Some familiar faces do return however including All-Conference picks EG Pierce and Cole Heinbaugh. Pierce tallied 2 goals last season from his defender spot while Heinbaugh recorded 4 goals and 1 assist as a midfielder. Also back are Seth Arens (1 goal, 2 assists) and Patrick Sherman (4 goals, 2 assists). Newcomers that will look to gain starting roles are Walter Lazo, Pablo Alas, and Diego Alas.

Last Season Overall Record: 12-7

Last Season SLIAC Record: 7-2

Head Coach: Jess Semnacher

Starters Returning: 3

#7 Fontbonne University

No Information Provided

Last Season Overall Record: 4-14-1

Last Season SLIAC Record: 3-6

Head Coach: Donnie Alberty

Starters Returning: n/a

#8 Blackburn College

With 15 total points, Blackburn was picked 8th on the poll. Head Coach Rob Steinkuehler returns four starters from a team that was 3-12-1 last season. Dylan Klunk, the team's leading scorer from one year ago, is back to lead the attack. Klunk, a sophomore, finished with 6 goals . Fellow classmate Dawson Klunk also returns as do seniors Prince Balaba and Jordan Leihser. Of the incoming class a trio of freshman to watch are Hayden Reese, Anthony Coppotelli, and Luke Atkinson.

Last Season Overall Record: 3-12-1

Last Season SLIAC Record: 1-8

Head Coach: Rob Steinkuehler

Starters Returning: 4

#9 Eureka College

Eureka closes out the poll, picking up eight total points. The Red Devils were 2-12-1 last season and will turn to junior midfielder Diego Cintora to lead the team. He will be joined by newcomer Porter Wesson.

Last Season Overall Record: 2-12-1

Last Season SLIAC Record: 0-9

Head Coach: Dwain Barker

Starters Returning: n/a

2020-21 SLIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Watch List

This year's SLIAC Men's Soccer Watch List includes 15 players that earned All-Conference honors in 2019. A trio of Tigers (Cesar Arroyo, Francisco Javier Saldana, and Carlos Mateo Moreno) will be looking to help their team defend their regular season title. The Spalding defense should be strong with returning defender Jacob Bass and SLIAC Defensive Player of the Year, keeper Trevor Massa. Greenville features one of the league's top strikers in Jared McPeek who is joined by teammates Luis Duran and Napoleon Urquidi. Westminster will be set at both ends of the field with forward Justin Gerdiman and defender Sam Heckart while Principia will rely on the duo of EG Pierce and Cole Heinbaugh. Webster features a trio of All-Conference players from a year ago in Tanner Haugen, Justin Kohler, and Aamahn Murvin.


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