TYLER -- The UT Tyler men's soccer team will start 2012 as the preseason No. 9 team in the country according to the NSCAA-Continental Tire-NCAA Division III preseason poll announced Tuesday. The Patriots finished the 2011 season ranked No. 7 in the same poll, after finishing 18-3-2.
UT Tyler begins the season Friday, August 31 against No. 4 Trinity-Texas in San Antonio which promises to be a measuring stick for Coach Kenny Jones and the Patriots.
After reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals last season, UT Tyler has high hopes for the upcoming season.
"It is great to be recognized by the pollsters this early in the season, but it is still early, and a lot of work needs to be done", said Coach Jones. He also added, "it shouldn't be too much of a distraction for our players, we don't focus on our ranking, we just want to get better".
Senior Chris Powell, a Second-Team All-ASC performer from 2011 is back, along with brothers Elijah and Enoch Shipman, both of which are all-conference performers for the Patriots.
Ohio Wesleyan, the 2011 NCAA D-III National Champions enter 2012 as the preseason No. 1 team, while Calvin, the team that ended the Patriots' season in 2011, enters at No. 13.
The home-opener for UT Tyler is Friday, September 7 against non-conference opponent Northwood at 5 pm, with the women ending the opening weekend festivities against Trinity at 7 pm.
You can catch all of the men's soccer action at uttylerpatriots.com.