MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer has been picked to finish fifth in the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Wednesday. The 2017 season saw the Wildcats earn their first postseason win in the GLIAC Tournament.
NMU received 15 points to earn the fifth-place prediction. Davenport University was predicted to earn the league crown after receiving 33 points and four first-place votes.
Saginaw Valley State University fell one point shy of Davenport but did receive the final three first-place votes. Northwood University and Purdue University Northwest finished third and fourth with 26 and 16 points, respectively. GLIAC newcomer the University of Wisconsin-Parkside was tabbed for sixth with 13 points, while Ashland placed 11th with 11 points.
NMU enters 2018 with third-year head coach David Poggi at the helm. Poggi guided the Wildcats to a 6-11-2 overall record and the program's first-ever postseason victory in the GLIAC Tournament in 2017. Senior forward Sam Popp (Northville, Michigan) is the top-returning point scorer for a team that had no seniors. Popp netted six goals and added three assists for 15 points as a junior.
The 2018 squad will also have the program's first graduating class with seniors Popp, Kevin Hoof (Grove, Minnesota), Nic Harenda (Waukesha, Wisconsin), and Carson Burmeister (Grayling, Michigan) finishing their collegiate careers.
The Wildcats begin the 2018 campaign with a home contest against Mercyhurst University on August 30 at 3 p.m. The league slate begins September 15 when the teams hosts Davenport.
The complete results of the poll are listed below.
1. Davenport - 33 (4)
2. Saginaw Valley - 33 (3)
3. Northwood - 26
4. Purdue Northwest - 16
5. Northern Michigan - 15
6. Wisconsin-Parkside - 13
7. Ashland - 11