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Men's Soccer News

Point Park just behind Rio Grande (Ohio) in KIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

Aug. 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET

KIAC Soccer

PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University is just behind preseason favorite Rio Grande (Ohio) in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll released by the conference office on Thursday (Aug. 14).

Rio Grande, which is a KIAC newcomer and a perennial NAIA national contender, earned 15 points in the poll and three of the five first-place votes. Point Park, which is the two-time defending KIAC champion, got 14 points and the remaining two first-place votes.

Asbury (Ky.), which was the KIAC runner-up to Point Park the last two years, was picked third with 10 points. Brescia (Ky.) was fourth with seven points and Cincinnati Christian was fifth with four points.

Point Park and eigth-year head coach Jeroen Walstra has 7 of 11 starters back from last year's team, which was 12-7-1 overall, 4-0-0 KIAC and repeated as KIAC regular season and tournament champions. The Pioneers are 11-0-0 versus KIAC opponents (including playoffs) since joining the conference in 2012.

Point Park has reached the NAIA national tournament two years in a row, both times receiving the KIAC's automatic bid as tournament champion. Last year, the Pioneers lost to No. 2 overall seed Rio Grande, 2-1, in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.

Rio Grande has several players returning from its 16-3-3 squad that won the Mid-South Conference last year and finished in the final eight of the national tournament. Point Park hosts Rio Grande Sept. 20 at 12 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. Rio Grande is one of the all-time leaders in NAIA men's soccer national tourney appearances.

Asbury was 12-8 overall, 2-2 KIAC last year while Brescia was 7-10, 3-1 KIAC. Cincinnati Christian is coming off a 4-15, 0-4 KIAC campaign.

Point Park opens the 2014 season Sept. 4 at home versus Wheeling Jesuit.

2014 KIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll (Aug. 14, 2014) (First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)

School

Points

Rio Grande (3)

15

Point Park (2)

14

Asbury (Ky.)

10

Brescia (Ky.)

7

Cincinnati Christian

4