Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Men’s soccer top pick in Mid-Con preseason poll
After winning the regular season title for the third time in four years last season, the Oakland men’s soccer team has been picked as the preseason favorite for the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference championship.
Senior Jim Denk, a top scorer last year, returns to the top-ranked Grizzlies in 2006.
The Golden Grizzlies picked up three first-place votes in the preseason poll of the league’s head coaches, totaling 33 points in the poll. Western Illinois was second in the voting with two first-place votes and 28 points overall.
Oakland, which won the regular season title last year with a 5-1 conference mark, has seven returning starters and 12 letter-winners from the 2005 squad as it seeks a second straight regular season crown.
The top returning scorers for Oakland are senior Jim Denk (Park Ridge, Ill.) and sophomores Wade Allan (Shelby Twp., Mich.) and Ben Gearhart (Rochester, Mich.), with each putting in four goals a year ago. A pair of All-Mid-Con players also returns for OU in the persons of senior midfielder Brady Vance (Traverse City, Mich.) and sophomore defender Adam Brent (Rochester, Mich.).
Oakland will open the regular season when it hosts Coastal Carolina at the OU Soccer Field on Friday, Aug. 25 starting at 5 p.m.
Mid-Con Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll
1. Oakland (3) 33
2. Western Illinois (2) 28
3. IUPUI (1) 21
4. Oral Roberts (1) 21
5. UMKC 18
6. Valparaiso 13
7. Centenary 7
For more information on men’s soccer or Golden Grizzly Athletics, visit the OU Athletics Web site.