Alma, Mich. - The head coaches of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association have picked the Alma College men's soccer team to finish seventh in the league in 2019.
Calvin University, Division III's National Runner-up, sits atop the poll with all but one first-place vote. Hope is second, ten points behind the Knights, followed by Adrian and Trine, each separated by three points. Kalamazoo and Albion are fifth and sixth with the Scots up next and Olivet last.
"Respect is earned," said Head Coach John Greer. "We will continue putting in the work to best set ourselves up to earn that respect."
Greer was introduced as the program's next head coach in March 2019 following a five-year stint as the lead assistant at Transylvania University (KY).
The 2019 team is built on seniority, as the Scots have nearly a dozen seniors donning the kits this season. Its top four point-getters from last season are all seniors: Kyle Farmer (Greenville, Mich. / Greenville) scored six goals, Noah Canlas (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville Central) tallied nine points, Tanner Parrett (Muskegon, Mich. / Mona Shores) had five and Torsten Holland (Okemos, Mich. / Haslett), four. On the defensive end, Garrison Mast (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) led the MIAA with 81 saves.
"Regardless of who your designated leaders are, the team will always take cues from the seniors," said Greer. "We are fortunate to have a great group of seniors that have been providing excellent examples of servant leadership."
The seniors nearly outnumber the newcomers, despite 14 players joining the team this year. They join a group of five sophomores to make up the overwhelming majority of the roster.
"It is still early on in camp, but the newcomers have immediately added value to the program. Some have adjusted to the pace and physicality right away and others have been making strides with every training session."
The Scots have a scrimmage against Spring Arbor University on Monday, Aug. 26. Their first official game is at Aurora University (IL) on Friday, Aug. 30. Alma's first five games are on the road but two of them will be counted as neutral site games. Over Labor Day weekend, the Scots will travel to Aurora University (IL) to play the Spartans on Friday, Aug. 30 and stay to play Benedictine University (IL) on Saturday before heading north to face Wisconsin-Whitewater on Monday. The following weekend, they'll travel back to Wisconsin, Carthage College, to play Knox College (IL) on Saturday, Sept. 7 and the Carthage Red Men on Sunday. They'll finish the non-conference season with Defiance (OH), Ohio Northern, and Mount St. Joseph (OH), followed by a non-conference game with Hope on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
League play officially begins with a home match against Olivet on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Alma then travels to Albion, Calvin, and Kalamazoo over the next two weeks before hosting Hope on Tuesday, Oct. 22. It stays at Scotland Yard for its home finale on Saturday, Oct. 26 against Adrian and ends the season at Trine on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
1. Calvin - 7 points (7 first-place votes)
2. Hope - 17 points
3. Adrian - 20 points (1 first-place vote)
4. Trine - 23 points
5. Kalamazoo - 31 points
6. Albion - 36 points
7. Alma - 42 points
8. Olivet - 48 points