Ohio Wesleyan has once again been selected as the preseason favorite based on balloting from league coaches heading into the 31st North Coast men’s soccer season.
The Battling Bishops, who are coming off their sixth consecutive
NCAC championship and NCAA-record 36th Division III playoff
appearance, earned seven of the first-place votes cast by league
coaches to finish on top of the poll with 97 total points. Kenyon,
coming off its trip to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament,
earned the final three first-place votes and finished second in the
poll with 92 points, while DePauw rounded out the top-three in
third-place with 77 total points. Coming off its first-ever
appearance in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, Oberlin checked in at
fourth with 73 points, while Denison cracked the top-five in
fifth-place with 58 points. Allegheny earned the sixth position
with 45 points, followed by Hiram in seventh (38), Wooster in
eighth (29), Wabash in ninth (23) and Wittenberg in 10th (18).
Ohio Wesleyan enters the 2014 season under the direction of head coach Jay Martin for the 38th consecutive season. In 37 seasons at the helm, Martin has compiled the most wins in college soccer history (all divisions) as he owns a career record of 640-119-57. The Bishops return a wealth of talent from the 2013 squad that finished the season with an overall record of 19-1-3 and a mark of 7-0-2 against conference opponents. Leading the charge offensively for OWU this fall will be the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2013, senior Colton Bloecher (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy Orange), who accounted for 13 goals and four assists for 30 total points last fall. Juniors Brian Schaefer (Chatham, NJ/Chatham) and Evan Lee (Toledo, OH/St. Johns) join Bloecher in 2014 as the trio combined for 30 goals, 14 assists and 74 total points to lead the Bishops to their sixth unbeaten regular season record in school history last year. Defensively senior Colin Beemiller (Pickerington, OH/North) returns in net after leading the NCAC last year with a 0.74 goals against average and finishing second in shutouts (8.2).
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.
2014 North Coast Athletic Conference
Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
|1.||Ohio Wesleyan (7)