The Valparaiso University men's soccer team has been picked to finish in fourth place in the Mid-Continent Conference according to the annual preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches.
Head coach Mis' Mrak's squad, which finished 5-10-2 overall and in fourth place with a 2-2-1 record in the Mid-Con last season, earned 16 points in the poll.
Oakland, which has won at least a share of the conference title each of the past three seasons, has been tabbed as the favorite, followed by UMKC and Western Illinois. Centenary, the newest member of the Mid-Con, and Oral Roberts were picked in a tie for fifth place, while Oral Roberts rounds out the poll.
Valpo will open its regular season on Friday evening when the Crusaders host Southwest Missouri State beginning at 4 p.m. at Eastgate Field.
2003 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll-Men's Soccer
1. Oakland (6) - 36
2. UMKC (1) - 29
3. Western Illinois - 25
4. Valparaiso - 16
t-5. Centenary - 15
t-5. Oral Roberts - 15
7. IUPUI - 11
(First place votes in parentheses)