KANSAS CITY, Kan.-- The Mars Hill men's soccer team is ranked 17th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Continental Tire NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Preseason Rankings.
Mars Hill is coming off a 13-6-1 season that saw the Lions reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The Lions defeated Montavello and Coker before bowing out in the second round of the tournament. Key returning memebers from last year's team include leading scorer Stephen Bivens and goalkeeper Zac Scott, who led the South Atlantic Conference in save percentage. Head coach Gary Hamel will be entering his first season at the helm of the Lions program.
The Lions will face two teams ranked in the Top 25 of the preseason poll. Mars Hill will host 12th-ranked Barry in the season-opener on Aug. 30, and will travel to Anderson (S.C.) on Oct. 6. MHC will also host Lees-McRae, who received votes in the poll, on Sep. 12.
Mars Hill is one of two programs in the South Atlantic Conference ranked in the poll. The other is 24th-ranked Anderson (S.C.).
The first match of the season for MHC will be on Aug. 30 when they host Barry at 5 p.m. in Meares Stadium.
Based in Kansas City, Kan., the the NSCAA is the largest soccer coaches' organization in the world.
Since its founding in 1941, the NSCAA has grown to include more than 30,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport. In addition to a national rankings program for colleges and high schools, NSCAA offers an extensive recognition program that presents nearly 10,000 individual awards every year. The NSCAA fulfills its mission of coaching education through a nationwide program of clinics and week-long courses, teaching more than 7,000 coaches each year.