Alma, Mich. - The Alma College men's soccer team is picked to finish sixth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association this season according to the conference's preseason coaches poll which was released on Wednesday (August 22).
"Our team is progressing pretty much on the schedule we anticipated," said Head Coach Josh Oakley. "We are older, more experienced, and hungry to make amends for what we would like to prove was a misstep last season."
The Scots graduated just two seniors and added five newcomers to a team that finished 3-11-4 last season. Alma is just two years removed from an MIAA Championship game appearance against Calvin. It will lean on the production of juniors Noah Canlas (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville Central), Kyle Farmer (Greenville, Mich. / Greenville) and Tanner Parrett (Muskegon, Mich. / Mona Shores). Canlas and Parrett tied for the team lead in goals last year with two each. Incoming sophomore Kyle Salisbury (Lansing, Mich. / Grand Ledge) also tallied two goals in his first season. Alma also returns Garrison Mast (Clarkston, Mich. / Clarkston) in net who led the MIAA in saves (92) and was third in save percentage (.773).
Calvin tops the poll with seven of eight first-place votes and seven points. The Knights went undefeated last year and won two NCAA Tournament games before being eliminated in the Round of 16. They are ranked No. 7 in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. Adrian is second in the MIAA poll with 18 points, followed by Kalamazoo and Hope which are tied for third with 20 points; the Hornets received the eighth first-place vote. Albion is fifth with 35 points, just ahead of Alma with 36. Trine and Olivet are placed seventh and eighth.
"The one true thing about this poll is that in the eight years I've been the coach at Alma College it hasn't predicted our finish in the MIAA correctly one time. It's up to us alone to determine which side of the wrong prediction we actually finish this season."