Horizon League men's soccer coaches had a tough time predicting the conference favorite this season, as four teams received first-place votes in their annual preseason poll – including UW-Milwaukee.
The Panthers, who were 6-10-3 overall and finished sixth in the Horizon with a 3-3-2 record last fall, were picked fourth in the preseason poll. Milwaukee senior midfielder Declan Rodriguez and sophomore forward Nick Moon (Waukesha West) were among the conference players to watch.
UW-Green Bay junior midfielder Audi Jepson (Green Bay Preble) and senior midfielder Jordan Dover also were named players to watch. The Phoenix, in their first season under coach Jeremy Bonomo, were tabbed ninth in the 10-team league.
Conference coaches project Marquette to finish fifth in the 10-team league, one spot better than the Golden Eagles (8-6-4, 2-3-4) fared last fall. Marquette senior striker C. Nortey and junior midfielder Louis Bennett II (Shorewood) made the Preseason All-Big East team after earning first-team all-conference honors and all-region awards from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2014.
University of Wisconsin senior midfielder Drew Conner, sophomore forward Tom Barlow and freshman defender Sam Brotherton – a New Zealand youth international – were named to the preseason players to watch list. Conference coaches picked the Badgers (3-12-3 overall, 0-7-1 Big Ten in 2014) to finish last in the nine-team league, where they finished last season.
|11||Truman State (Mo.)||90|
|15||William Jewell (Mo.)||40|
|16||St. Joseph's (Ind.)||21|
Milwaukee School of Engineering, which shared the regular-season title with Dominican (Ill.) and became the first team other than the Stars to win the conference tournament last fall, was picked as the preseason favorite by NACC coaches and sports information directors.
|1||Milwaukee School of Engineering||12||231|
|4||Lake Forest (Ill.)||1||73|
|2||North Park (Ill.)||3||44|
|5||North Central (Ill.)||25|
|1||St. Scholastica (Minn.)||7||63|
|6||Bethany Lutheran (Minn.)||31|
|7||Martin Luther (Minn.)||22|
|8||North Central (Minn.)||12|
Note: The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, which includes Cardinal Stritch, doesn't conduct a preseason conference poll.
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