WACO, Texas – The Rogers State men's soccer team was picked sixth in the 2018 Heartland Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll as announced by the league on Tuesday (Aug. 21). The poll is determined by the votes of the Heartland's coaches and sports information directors.
The Hillcats tallied 157 total votes to rank sixth in the 12-team preseason poll. RSU returns three All-Heartland Conference selections in defender Ellis Ashworth, forward Jake Simpson and midfielder Jordan Watson. Simpson was the top goal scorer for the navy and red in 2017, and Kevin Kwarteng and Noah Robson are back as after leading the navy and red in assists in 2017. The Hillcats finished second in the Heartland North Division in 2017 with a 5-6-3 league record. RSU went 8-7-3 overall in 2017.
No. 5-ranked Midwestern State was selected to win the Heartland Conference title for the third consecutive year in 2018. The Mustangs picked up 285 total votes and 22 of 24 possible first-place votes. In 2017 MSU went undefeated in a run to the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals going 20-0-3.
No. 15-ranked St. Edward's ranked second in the poll with 254 points overall and one first-place vote. West Texas A&M rounded out the top three in the preseason poll as the Buffaloes earned 241 points and one first-place vote.
Texas A&M International was picked fourth with 203 points, and St. Mary's was selected fifth with 157 points.
UT Permian Basin was tabbed to finish seventh with 140 points followed by Lubbock Christian (120 points), Newman (94 points), Dallas Baptist University (90 points), Eastern New Mexico (68 points) and Oklahoma Christian (44 points).
RSU begins the 2018 season on Thursday, Aug. 30 against Drury at 7 p.m. at Soldier Field.
Heartland Conference Preseason
Men’s Soccer Rankings
1. Midwestern State 285
2. St. Edward’s 254
3. West Texas A&M 241
4. Texas A&M International 203
5. St. Mary’s 176
6. Rogers State 157
7. Texas Permian Basin 140
8. Lubbock Christian 120
9. Newman 94
10. Dallas Baptist 90
11. Eastern New Mexico 68
12. Oklahoma Christian 44