Belton (August 21, 2012) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's soccer team has been picked to finish fourth in the American Southwest Conference in the league's annual Preseason Coaches Poll. The Cru totaled 261 points in balloting of the league's coaches and sports information directors after finishing fourth in the league last season.
Cru senior defender Chris Torres was voted the ASC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, also by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Torres led a defense that recorded seven shutouts and allowed just 15 goals last season. He also led the Cru in points (19), goals (seven) and assists (five) last season. Joining Torres was Mississippi College’s Brian Vasquez, who was named the ASC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Defending ASC champion Texas-Tyler took 25 of the 26 first-place votes and totaled 337 points as the coaches’ choice to successfully defend its ASC championship. Texas-Dallas was picked to finish second after receiving one first-place vote and 288 total points. Hardin-Simmons totaled 274 points as the pick to finish in third place and Mississippi College rounded out the top five with 257 total points. Concordia Texas totaled 180 points for sixth place, LeTourneau totaled 162 points for seventh place and Ozarks’ 155 points were good enough for eighth place. East Texas Baptist is ninth with 130 points, Howard Payne is tenth with 116 points, Schreiner is 11th with 85 points, Louisiana College is 12th with 74 points and Texas Lutheran is 13th with 47 points.
The Cru finished 11-4-3 overall and 10-3-0 in conference play last season. UMHB advanced to the semifinals of the ASC Championship Tournament before falling to eventual champion Texas-Tyler. Head Coach Brad Bankhead welcomes back 21 letter winners and six starters from that team this season. The UMHB men will open the 2012 season with a 7:00 PM home game against Wayland Baptist on Aug. 31st.