PRESEASON CONFERENCE RANKINGS
|110||Davis & Elkins|
Cedarville Yellow Jackets
LOCATION: Cedarville, OH
COACH: Brett Faro is in his third season as the head coach. He was named the coach of the year in the league last year.
2014 RECORD: 14-4 overall; 7-0-1 Great Midwest Athletic Conference
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. F Connor Gilmour (14 goals, 4 assists — named offensive player of the year in league last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. F Christian Alexander (10 goals, 6 assists); Jr. M Joel Twinem (5 goals, 2 assists) and Jr. D Chris Anderson (4 goals, 4 assists); Jr. GK Paul Pinto (17 saves).
THE SKINNY?: Scoring goals won’t be an issue for Cedarville, which will feature one of the best offenses in the conference. The Yellow Jackets also have depth at goalie as Ethan Dewhurst played in 17 games and made 27 saves.
OUTLOOK: Cedarville has been the team to beat in the conference the last two years. That won’t change this season as the Yellow Jackets take aim at a third consecutive conference championship.
Davis & Elkins Senators
LOCATION: Elkins, W. Va.
COACH: Greg Myers is in his first season as the head coach. Myers actually began his career at the school in 1964 and led the Senators to their first NAIA national title in 1968.
2014 RECORD: 9-8-1 overall; 6-3 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. D Lukas Grosse-Puppendahl (6 goals)
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. M/D Simon Hestad (3 goals, 2 assists); So. D Frederick Hedemark (2 goals, 2 assists); Sr. GK Daniel Nock (74 saves).
THE SKINNY?: Davis & Elkins lost a third of its offense last year but has a solid cast of returning players back capable of keeping the offense running smoothly. The defense will be strong again as well with Nock bringing experience to the goalie position.
OUTLOOK: The Senators was a good team on the road last year, winning five games. If that trend continues, it will finish in the top three again in conference play.
Alderson Broaddus Battlers
LOCATION: Philippi, W. Va.
COACH: Scott Phipps is headed into his second season. He spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Rockhurst.
2014 RECORD: 8-10-1 overall; 5-4 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: So. M/F Deshawn Parker (8 goals, 5 assists — leading goal scorer in 2014).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. M Marco Profumo (6 goals, 9 assists); Sr. M Zach Partyka (5 goals); Jr. F Peter McMenemy (4 goals); Sr. M Luiz Caragena (4 goals);So. GK Richard Lao (88 saves).
THE SKINNY?: The top five scorers are all back for Alderson Broaddus, which will feature one of the most potent attacks in the conference. It also has the ability to get the job done on defense with Lao returning in goal.
OUTLOOK: The Battlers play a tough schedule that features three NCAA tournament teams from last season. Those tests will prepare them for a shot at winning the league championship.
Salem International Tigers
LOCATION: Salem. W. Va.
COACH: Florin Martin has been the head coach of the Tigers since 2010. He played 14 years of professional soccer in Romania.
2014 RECORD: 10-9-1 overall; 4-4-1 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Mohamed Bakayoko (7 goals, 4 assists — finished second on the team in goals).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Javier Paz Ruiz (5 goals, 7 assists); Tomas Szabo (8 goals); Michael Brunton (5 goals, 2 assists) and Alexandre Costet (4 goals, 1 assist); Sr. GK Elliot Cook (70 saves).
THE SKINNY?: The Tigers have plenty of offense to be one of the best teams in the conference, particularly because of the playmakers on the roster. This is a team with more than enough talent to be competitive in every game.
OUTLOOK: Salem International is in a position to be one of the top teams in the league. If it plays up to its potential, it can contend for the title.
Kentucky Wesleyan Purple Panthers
LOCATION: Owensboro, Ky.
COACH: John Fusco is going into his fourth season. He spent eight years as the head coach of the women’s team at Brescia University.
2014 RECORD: 7-8-3 overall; 3-4-1 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: So. GK Grant Allen (96 saves — led league in saves last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. F Travis Foreman (5 goals, 3 assists); Jr. M Kurtis Roberts (2 goals, 11 assists); Jr. D Demetrius Carter (named an all-conference selection as a defender);
THE SKINNY?: Kentucky Wesleyan played well down the stretch, winning four of eight, and has the talent to keep that momentum rolling into this season. Foreman and Roberts are both solid scoring threats but also do a great job of getting others involved in the offense. Allen will anchor the defense after being one of the best goalies in the conference last year.
OUTLOOK: The Purple Panthers played in a conference tournament for the first time since 1994 and will try to build on that success this season. They should get back to the conference tournament this year and have a winning season.
Trevecca Nazarene Trojans
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
COACH: Dan Leavyis headed into his sixth season at Trevecca. He has won 42 games at the school.
2014 RECORD: 5-10 overall; 3-4-1 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. F Jeremiah Wright (6 goals, 1 assist — named an all-conference selection last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. D Liam Roche (2 goals, 1 assist); Sr. D Ryan Walls (2 goals); So. GK Noah Mudd (10 saves).
THE SKINNY?: Wright improved each year and this should be his best season yet with the Trojans. If he rises to the occasion as expected the defense takes a step forward, this is a team that will make significant strides.
OUTLOOK: The Trojans should be one of the most improved teams in the conference. A .500 season is a realistic goal but a winning season certainly isn’t out of reach.
Ohio Valley Fighting Scots
LOCATION: Vienna, W. Va.
COACH: Luis Rincon is in his first season as the head coach. He is a former player and coach at Texas A&M International.
2014 RECORD: 0-17 overall; 0-9 G-MAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. M Austin Roe (1 goal, 1 assist — only returning player with at least one goal and assist).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. M Ryan Stefan (1 goal); So. GK Chandler Fout (37 saves).
THE SKINNY?: The Fighting Scots only scored 11 goals but no returning player scored more than one last year. They also allowed 108 goals. If they are going to take a step forward, creating more scoring opportunities and being tougher defensively will be key.
OUTLOOK: Ohio Valley is hoping to show signs of improvement despite not having a lot of experience. The Fighting Scots won’t win a ton of games but will avoid another winless season.