PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State University men’s soccer team was selected to finish ninth in the 2021 Mid-South Conference’s Preseason Coaches Poll, collecting 44 points according to conference officials.
SSU’s 44 points put the Bears well ahead of Freed-Hardeman, Thomas More and Pikeville, which rounded out the preseason poll with 28, 23 and 13 points, respectively.
From the top of the poll, Cumberlands (Ky.)’s 115 points and eight first-place votes allowed the Patriots to claim the top spot.
The 2020-21 MSC Tournament Champion, however, was closely followed by Bethel (Tenn.), which posted 110 points and two first-place votes — as well as Lindsey Wilson — who collected 107 points and a pair of first-place votes as well.
Campbellsville (Ky.)’s 85 points, Cumberland (Tenn.)’s 83 points and Life (Ga.)’s 75 tallies rounded out the fourth through sixth-place positions, while Tennessee-Southern’s 59 points and Georgetown (Ky.)’s 50 notches put that duo in seventh and eighth respectively.
The aforementioned SSU, FHU, TMU and UPike rounded out the poll.
Kevin de Lange — the second-team all-MSC honoree who is Shawnee State’s all-time leader in goals (43) and is second all-time in points scored (105) — returns after another brilliant campaign, where he posted 13 goals and four assists in last year’s abbreviated season.
The three-time second-team all-MSC candidate and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American was named the 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-American Team Member of the Year for men’s soccer.
In de Lange and Joao Toledo, Shawnee State has a strong 1-2 punch that has accumulated 54 career goals and 29 career assists between them.
Shawnee State also returns top-notch defender Thierry van den Bergh and Honorable Mention all-MSC goalkeeper Bas Markus, along with key leaders in Nathan Ewing, Jack Sharman-Dodd, Bobo Kikonda, Michael Rose, Eli Maurer and Victor Aguilera.
Bram Voskuilen, Guillermo Conejo, goalkeeping talent Jimmy Mahlmeister of Ironton St. Joseph, Matt Jones and Justin Sidwell round out the incoming class for the fall.
For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club or for sponsorship of specific SSU players or events, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club and https://givetossu.com/sponsorthebears.