By Jordan Childress
The Union College men’s soccer team is slated to finish fourth in the 2015 Appalachian Athletic Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll, the conference office announced Monday morning.
The Bulldogs garnered 57 votes in the ranking, finishing 10 votes shy of a tie with Tennessee Wesleyan for the number three spot.
At the top of the ranking is St. Andrews (N.C.), garnering five of the possible 10 first-place votes and a total of 76 voting points to claim the top spot over Reinhardt (Ga.) by a single point. Reinhardt received four first-place votes and a total of 75 voting points.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 13-6 season, while coming out of the gate with 11 straight wins, the best start to a season since 1997. Union finished with a 6-3 record in AAC play, before being upset in the AAC Tournament Quarterfinals by Bryan (Tenn.).
Head coach Tyler Brock enters his 13th season at the helm of the Bulldogs and returns 18 players from a season ago while adding 17 new faces to the roster.
Top returnees for the Bulldogs include All-AAC First Team performer Jason Jacobs (JR/Downs, Manchester, Jamaica) and All-AAC Second Teamer Luke Hitchman (SO/Abergavenny, Wales). The Bulldogs top returning goal scorers include Andre Scott (JR/St. Catherine, Jamaica) and Hitchman, who scored six goals apiece in 2014.
Union will open their 2015 campaign on August 29 as they host Brescia (Ky.) in the first game of the 2015 Thomas Trammell Memorial Classic. The Bulldogs will conclude the Classic on August 30, entertaining Talladega (Ala.).