CLEVELAND, OHIO — The Hiram College men’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth in this year’s North Coast Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll that was released today (Thursday, Aug. 25). [2011 NCAC Preseason Poll]
Hiram ended up one point ahead of Oberlin College with 52 points to place fifth overall out of 10 teams and also received one first-place vote. Defending conference tournament champions Ohio Wesleyan University was picked to finish as NCAC Champion with 96 points and eight first-place votes. Kenyon College was second with 80 points and NCAC newcomer DePauw (Ind.) University was third at 79 points.
This fall, Hiram will look to junior All-NCAC forward Ryan Minick (North Royalton) and junior All-NCAC midfielder Ryan Greenhill (Solon) to lead the Terrier offensive attack. Last season, Minick was second on the team in goals with three, while Greenhill added a goal and two assists.
On defense, Hiram will be without some key players from a year ago, but will be led this year by senior veterans Jonathan Roszak (Medina) and Tyler Launder (Whitehouse/Anthony Wayne). In 2010, the Hiram defense allowed 2.15 goals per game while helping the team post two shutout victories. Individually, Roszak saw playing time in 17 games, including nine starts, while scoring an
assist for his only point of the season. Launder saw limited action as a junior in five games in a backup role. Look for him to compete for more playing time this season.
The 2011 schedule will again feature some tough opponents including a matchup against defending NCAA Division III National Champion Messiah (Pa.) College in Hiram’s second game of the season on Sept. 3. The Terriers will also face two other teams who qualified to last year’s national tournament in NCAC opponents Ohio Wesleyan University and Kenyon College. Hiram will begin
the season at the two-day Ohio Wesleyan Tournament from Friday-Saturday, Sept. 2-3 with a matchup against Hamline (Minn.) University in the season-opener on Sept. 2. The Terriers will play their first home game on Sept. 12 against Waynesburg (Pa.) College and open conference play on Sept. 24 against conference newcomer DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.