For Greene County News
The Cedarville University men’s and women’s soccer programs were both recognized as the teams to beat in their respective Great Midwest Athletic Conferences, according to coaches polls released Friday.
After winning the last three G-MAC titles, the Yellow Jackets men’s program received five first-place votes and a total of 35 points in all to earn the top pre-season selection.
The men’s preseason runner-up was Alderson Broaddus (W.Va.) after the Battlers finished with 30 points. Tying for third in the preseason standings was Davis & Elkins (W.Va.) and Ohio Valley (W.Va.) with 23 points apiece.
Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) was fifth in the poll with 19 points and G-MAC first-year institution Malone (Canton) was tabbed at sixth with nine points.
Kentucky Wesleyan will be aiming to return to the postseason in the six-team tournament field after being selected seventh to begin the fall.
Cedarville was 15-4-2 last year while drawing a respectable No. 4 seed in the regional. The Yellow Jackets eliminated Quincy before running into a tough Rockhurst squad that advanced to the NCAA semifinals.
Cedarville’s push for four straight hinges on a stalwart defensive grouping and the dominant skill set of NCAA Division II All-American forward Connor Gilmour in his final year of eligibility. He also voted as the G-MAC Male Athlete of the Year by administrators around the league.
The Cedarville women’s program received three first-place votes and 48 total points, after winning the school’s first G-MAC title last season. Ursuline (Pepper Pike, Ohio), Davis & Elkins, Trevecca Nazarene, Kentucky Wesleyan, Malone, Alderson Broaddus and Ohio Valley rounded out the women’s voting.
The Yellow Jackets (13-5-4 last season) are coming off of their first G-MAC Championship.
Cedarville enters the fall with a new coach at the helm, Jonathan Meade, after earning the conference’s first at-large appearance in the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional. Meade is the leader of the Yellow Jackets after joining the program from incoming G-MAC institution Ohio Dominican.
The balanced G-MAC has crowned four different women’s soccer champions in as many years (2012 – Trevecca Nazarene; 2013 – Davis & Elkins; 2014 – Ursuline; 2015 – Cedarville).