DEFIANCE, OHIO - The Defiance College men's soccer team was picked to finish ninth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason poll announced Monday morning by the league office.
Defending HCAC Champion Transylvania captured the top spot in the poll with 77 points and five first place votes. The Pioneers were closely followed by Hanover with 76 points and an equal five first place votes. Rose-Hulman landed third, tallying 66 points. Manchester and Anderson rounded out the top five with 57 and 46 points respectively.
The Yellow Jackets were preceded by Mount St. Joseph, Earlham and Franklin in the polling. DC landed ninth with 24 points, sitting ahead of rival Bluffton by a seven point margin.
Defiance returns a plethora of talent after graduating just three players last season. After narrowly missing the HCAC Tournament with a fifth place finish in 2018, the Yellow Jackets will stride for the postseason under the direction of first-year head coach Cory Bucur.
Six Yellow Jackets were named "Players to Watch" for the upcoming season. Junior Bennett Pack (Glasgow, Ky./Glasgow) will return to his consistent role in the DC defensive line. Senior Adam Ordel (Lima/Elida) is back after a strong 2018 campaign that saw two game winning goals.
Jarod Brossia (Curtice/Genoa) will strive to make an impact in the Purple and Gold's midfield after starting 13 games last season. Jarren Casto (Celina/Celina) will likely find his place creating havoc along the wing once again. The junior tallied a team-high six assists during the 2018 season. Junior Carson Macklin (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) looks to hold down the defensive line for DC after featuring in 11 games this past year.
Sophomore goalkeeper Harrison Hirth (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer) was the final Yellow Jacket on the list. Hirth made five appearances and two starts in net for the Purple and Gold during 2018. The sophomore tallied seven saves in his time in net while recording a .583 save percentage.
The Yellow Jackets will open the 2019 season on August 30 as they take on Hiram in the opening round of the annual Purple and Gold Classic. The season opening contest is slated for a 5:00 pm kickoff.
2019 HCAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
|FINISH||TEAM||POINTS (# of First Place Votes)|
|6||Mount St. Joseph||31|