RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Coming off another stellar season on the pitch last fall, the Rio Grande RedStorm men’s soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Mid-South Conference 2013 Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Wednesday by conference officials.
The RedStorm finished second in the poll with 73 voting points and one first-place vote.
Veteran head coach Scott Morrissey’s squad, which captured the MSC regular season title a year ago with a 9-0 mark, finished 16-3-1 after a loss to Hannibal-LaGrange in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament.
Seven seniors from the 2012 squad - including four All-Americans - are gone, but the list of returnees include First Team All-MSC selections Maxi Viera and Craig Davies, along with reigning MSC Freshman of the Year Ryota Tonegawa.
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College, which defeated Rio Grande in the championship game of the MSC Tournament, topped the preseason balloting with 81 points and the remaining nine first-place votes.
Rounding out the top five in the voting were Campbellsville (Ky.) University with 60 points, the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) with 56 points and Cumberland (Tenn.) University with 55 points.
Shawnee State University (34 pts.) edged Bluefield (Va.) College (33 pts.) for sixth place, with Georgetown (Ky.) finishing eighth with 24 points, St. Catharine (Ky.) College taking ninth with 23 points and the University of Pikeville (Ky.) taking 10th place with 11 points.
The RedStorm will open their regular season schedule on Saturday, Aug. 24, when Saint Xavier University visits Evan E. Davis Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff.