CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University men's soccer team has been picked to finish sixth in the Mid-American Conference race in 2012. The preseason coaches poll, the result of voting by the conference's eight head coaches, was released by the conference office on Monday morning (Aug. 13).
Akron, the defending regular-season champion, was picked to capture the 2012 MAC regular-season title. The Zips received 62 points in the voting, and also garnered six of the eight votes to win the MAC Tournament.
MAC men's soccer newcomer West Virginia was picked to finish second with 53 points, followed closely by Northern Illinois (51 points). Western Michigan received 32 points in the voting, followed by Hartwick (31), the Falcons (25), Buffalo (23) and Florida Atlantic (11).
BGSU head coach Eric Nichols and his staff return 13 letterwinners, including six starters, from a year ago. The 2011 team went 7-8-3 overall and 1-4-1 in MAC action.
The 2012 Falcons head to Oakland for a scrimmage on Friday (Aug. 17), before beginning the regular season with a three-match homestand. The regular-season opener is set for Saturday, Aug. 25, when Saint Bonaventure comes to Cochrane Field for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. That match will be Alumni Night for the program, and will kick off a home schedule in which all 10 games will be played under the lights.
BGSU's MAC opener will be Sept. 22 against Akron at Cochrane Field. The regular season ends on Nov. 3 with a home contest vs. WVU, and the MAC Tournament will be held the following weekend, with the semifinals on Nov. 9 and the championship on Nov. 11. The conference tournament will be held at the home field of the regular-season champion.
2012 MAC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
(Points received in parentheses)
1. Akron (62)
2. West Virginia (53)
3. Northern Illinois (51)
4. Western Michigan (32)
5. Hartwick (31)
6. Bowling Green (25)
7. Buffalo (23)
8. Florida Atlantic (11)
Predicted 2012 MAC Tournament Champion
Akron (6 votes)