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WACO, Texas — The Rogers State men's soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the Heartland Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll, and junior striker Jake Simpson was named to the Preseason All-Heartland Men's Soccer Team, announced on Monday (Aug. 21) by the league office.

The poll and Preseason All-Heartland Men's Soccer Team are determined by the votes of the Heartland Conference men's soccer coaches and sports information directors.

The Hillcats totaled 188 votes, including one first-place vote, to finish only seven points back from No. 4-ranked Newman (195 points). RSU and Newman tied for fourth place in the league table in 2016.

Simpson, a junior from Cambridge, England, was selected to the 2017 Men's Soccer Preseason All-Heartland Team as a forward. Simpson, who was a 2016 All-Heartland Conference First Team selection, led the Hillcats and ranked fourth in the league in 2016 with seven goals, including three game winners. The junior added one assists for 15 points during the 2016 season. Simpson started in 18 games, playing 1,484 minutes.

Midwestern State was picked to repeat as Heartland Conference champions with 274 points and 14 of the 24 first-place votes. St. Edward's, last season's Heartland Tournament champion, ranked second in the poll with 267 points and eight first-place votes.

West Texas A&M rounded out the top three with one first-place vote and 236 points.

Coming in after the Hillcats was Eastern New Mexico in sixth place with 144 points. St. Mary's (128 points), Lubbock Christian (99 points), Dallas Baptist University (83 points), UT Permian Basin (61 points) and Oklahoma Christian (58 points) round out the preseason poll.

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