Ohio Wesleyan Tabbed As Men's Soccer Favorite For 2012
Ohio Wesleyan, the defending NCAA Division III National Champion, emerged as the preseason favorite in balloting by North Coast Athletic Conference men's soccer coaches.
The Battling Bishops, who made their NCAA-record 34th trip to the Div. III national tournament last fall, collected nine first-place votes cast by league coaches for 99 total points. DePauw, which also competed in the 2011 NCAA tournament, was second in the balloting after securing the final first-place vote and accumulating 84 total points, while Hiram placed third with 72 points. Allegheny and Denison were deadlocked in fourth-place with 63 points, while Kenyon finished just shy of the top five in sixth-place with 62 points. Oberlin was seventh with 42 points, followed by Wittenberg (31), Wabash (20) and Wooster (14).
OWU will once again be led by legendary head coach Jay Martin, who is now the winningest coach in college men's soccer (all divisions) with an overall record of 608-115-49. The Battling Bishops, who are ranked first in the 2012 NSCAA Div. III preseason poll, claimed the 2011 national championship after finishing the season with an overall record of 23-2-0. OWU did lose a majority of its offensive production from a year ago to graduation, but the defense will once again be anchored by senior goalie Paul Hendricks (Columbus, OH/Worthington Kilbourne) who accumulated 74 saves and allowed just 22 goals in 2110.09 minutes of action for a goals-against-average of 0.94. On the offensive side of the ball, junior Matt Shadoan (Dublin, OH/Scioto) returns as the leading scorer after totaling 20 points in 2011 on six goals and eight assists.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.
|2012 NCAC Preseason Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll|
|(First-Place votes in parentheses, followed by points)|
|1.||Ohio Wesleyan (9)||99|