ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The Union College men's soccer team is picked to finish in a tie for fifth place in the 2014 Appalachian Athletic Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll, which was released by the conference office on Monday.
The Bulldogs garnered 52 points in the ranking, tying with Milligan (Tenn.) in the number five spot.
At the top of the ranking is Tennessee Wesleyan, garnering six of the possible 10 first-place votes and a total of 95 voting points to claim the top spot. Bryan received three first-place votes while Reinhardt picked up the last remaining first-place vote, but both teams tied for second with 77 total voting points.
Elsewhere in the poll, Montreat is fourth with 61 voting points, Truett-McConnell is seventh at 44 points, Point is eighth at 43 points, St. Andrews ninth with 31 points, and Bluefield 10th with 18 points.
Union, who ended last season with a 9-8-3 overall mark, returns last season's leading goal scorer in sophomore Alex Smith (SO/Montego Bay, Jamaica), who found the back of the net 14 times in his freshman campaign of 2013, along with 2013's primary goaltender CJ Hopkins (JR/Surrey, England), who is a junior this season. The team will once again be led by head coach Tyler Brock, who enters his 12th season at the helm of the Bulldog program in 2014.
The Bulldogs open their 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29, hosting Crown (Tenn.) in the first game of the 2014 Thomas Trammell Memorial Classic. The Bulldogs will conclude the Classic on Saturday, entertaining Hiwassee (Tenn.).