The Fort Hays State University men's soccer team enters the 2017 season picked first in the MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. Last season the Tigers finished second in the conference with a 6-2 record. The defending conference champions, Lindenwood, sits in the second spot, while Northeastern State rounds out the top three.
The Tigers still seek an MIAA title in men's soccer, even though they are the three-time defending NCAA Central Regional champion. The Tigers have finished second in the MIAA three of the last four years, but their overall body of work has been good enough to qualify for the NCAA Tournament five consecutive years.
The first regular season action will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at 6 pm when the Tigers host Rockhurst University in a rematch of last season's national quarterfinal match. The Tigers travel to McKendree University on Sept. 2. Last season the Tigers set a program record for wins with 14. They finished the season 14-5-1 overall, claiming their third consecutive NCAA Division II Central Region crown.
Offense played a huge role for the Tiger success in 2016 as they outscored their opponents 53-20, averaging 2.65 goals per match. Scoring was vital to their success last season as 14 different players scored a goal throughout the year. Six players totaled 10 or more points on the season.