CLEVELAND – Seven of the 12 Mid-American Conference soccer coaches picked the Miami soccer team to win its third-straight MAC East Division title, the league office announced in its preseason poll on Monday.
The RedHawks ultimately were tabbed to finish second in the division with Kent State, which received five first-place votes. After those two teams, the Ohio, Buffalo, Akron and Bowling Green rounded out the rest of the MAC East Division.
In the MAC West, defending MAC Tournament Champion Western Michigan garnered seven of 12 first-place votes and checks in as the favorite to win the division this fall. The Broncos were followed by defending regular season MAC Champion Eastern Michigan (two first-place votes), Ball State (two first-place votes), Central Michigan (one first-place vote), Toledo and Northern Illinois. Western Michigan was also voted as the favorite to win the MAC Tournament.
Miami returns seven starters to a squad that won its second-straight MAC East title and finished second in the overall league standings at 11-6-4 overall and 7-1-3 in the MAC. The RedHawks went 8-0-4 in their last 12 contests in 2013 and are 31-9-5 overall and 17-1-4 in MAC play over the past two seasons.
The Red and White open the 2014 regular season on Friday when they travel to Purdue for the Boilermaker Challenge Cup.
MAC Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Kent State (5 first-place votes)
2. Miami (7)
6. Bowling Green
1. Western Michigan (7)
2. Eastern Michigan (2)
3. Ball State (2)
4. Central Michigan (1)
6. Northern Illinois