BY MCKENDREE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
(LEBANON, Ill., Aug. 27) – The McKendree University men’s soccer team has been picked to finish 12th out of 16 schools in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) in 2014. The league’s annual pre-season poll was released Wednesday by the GLVC office in Indianapolis.
The poll was voted on by the 16 head men’s soccer coaches in the GLVC, and the Bearcats were one point shy of tying for 11th place with University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Four teams received first place votes, led by University of Indianapolis on top with eight. Quincy University was in second with four votes, while Rockhurst University and Lewis University earned three and one vote, respectively.
McKendree is coming off a 2013 season that ended with an overall record of 4-12-1 and a 2-12-1 mark in the GLVC. The Bearcats lost nine games last season by one goal and had four of those end in overtime.
Head coach John VanBuskirk is entering his second season at the helm of the McKendree men’s soccer program and returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners from last season. Also returning this season is 2012 third team All-GLVC selection Kavel Smith (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College). Smith scored seven goals and had four assists that season before sitting out last season with an injury.
“We didn’t play complete games last season,” said VanBuskirk. “We lost a lot of one goal games and you can’t be successful when you can’t finish games. This ranking will help motivate us to play until the final horn and prove to everyone that we can compete in this league.”
McKendree opens the 2014 season in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Sep. 4 for a 2 p.m., game against Saint Mary’s University (Texas). The Bearcats home opener is on Sep. 7 at 2 p.m., against Oakland City University.