BAY CITY, Mich.—The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) released its 2014 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll today (August 20) in conjunction with the launch of the conference's media day website.
The Lake Erie College men's soccer team was selected to finish fifth in the conference, receiving 29 votes.
Tiffin University was voted to win the conference, receiving 44 points and six first-place votes. Ohio Dominican University finished the voting in second, receiving 41 points and one first-place vote. Saginaw Valley University received the last first-place vote to finish third with 39 points. Northwood University, whom the Storm bested in the GLIAC playoffs last year, finished in fourth with 30 points, one vote ahead of the Storm. Walsh University, the University of Findlay and Malone University rounded out the top eight spots, respectively.
The poll was released as part of the conference's media day website, which features previews from all GLIAC teams and brief interviews with each head coach.
The Storm qualified for the GLIAC Playoffs for the first-time in program history in 2013, picking up a home victory in the opening round against Northwood before falling in the semi-finals. The Storm returns five players from last year's squad that earned All-GLIAC honors. Leading the way for the Storm is Alfred Majer (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). Majer led the Storm with eight goals to go alongside his two assists. In addition to a spot on the All-GLIAC Second-Team, he was an All-Ohio Division II Soccer selection. Nolyn Do Nascimento (Ajax, Ont./Pickering) also returns for the Storm after earning an Honorable Mention selection last year. Do Nascimento made 14 starts as a freshman last season, scoring the winning goal against Northwood on Oct. 20.
A trio of Storm defensive players that also earned All-GLIAC Second-Team honors returns to anchor one of the top defenses in the GLIAC- defenders Joseph Coombs (Knutsford, England/Holmes Chapel Sixth Form) and Ryan Gibson (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) and goalkeeper Filip Ljubevski (Ajax, Ont./Pickering). Coombs appeared in all 18 games last season, making 17 starts. Gibson, who also earned an All-Ohio Division II Soccer selection, scored two goals and assisted four more last season. Ljubevski was one of the top goalkeepers in the GLIAC last season with a GAA of 1.19. He totaled 83 saves, including five or more in nine games, and had four shutouts.
In addition to the slew of returners for the Storm, nine newcomers will join the team this season. Seven players from the local area join the squad in addition to players from Canada and Iceland.
The Storm opens up regular season play on Sept. 7 at California University of Pennsylvania.