Valparaiso University's men's soccer team has been predicted to finish in sixth place in the Mid-Continent Conference this season in preseason balloting done by the league's head coaches.
Head coach Mis' Mrak's squad garnered 12 points and finished ahead of Centenary in the voting. The Crusaders are coming off of a 4-11-3 season in 2004 and a 1-3-2 mark in Mid-Con play, placing sixth.
Oral Roberts was picked to win the title, while Western Illinois and Oakland tied for second in the balloting. UMKC was predicted to finish fourth, while IUPUI was voted fifth.
First place votes earned six points in the poll on a scale that saw one point issued for a sixth place pick. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Crusaders will open up their 2005 regular season on Friday, September 2 at the Bulls Classic in Buffalo, N.Y. against tournament host Buffaol.
2005 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll
Team - Points
1. Oral Roberts (4) - 34
t-2. Western Illinois (3) - 27
t-2. Oakland - 27
4. UMKC - 24
5. IUPUI - 17
6. Valparaiso - 12
7. Centenary - 7
(First place votes in parentheses)