Western Illinois Tabbed as Men’s Soccer Favorite

Western Illinois Tabbed as Men’s Soccer Favorite
Western Illinois celebrated regular season and postseason Summit League championships in 2011.

ELMHURST, Ill. – Defending champion Western Illinois is The Summit League's preseason men's soccer favorite according to a poll of the eight league coaches.

The Fighting Leathernecks, who claimed both the 2011 regular season and postseason championships, received five first-place votes and totaled 46 points. Kansas City had one first-place vote and finished second with 39 points to edge out Oakland, who received the remaining two first-place votes and had 38 points.

Oral Roberts, who will compete as an associate member for men's soccer, finished fourth. IUPUI, Fort Wayne and The Summit League's second associate member, Eastern Illinois, held the fifth through seventh spots. League newcomer Omaha rounded out the poll.

Regular season play kicks off on Aug. 24, with Summit League play starting Sept. 22. The top four teams in the regular season standings will compete for The Summit League Men's Soccer Championship in Macomb, Ill., Nov. 9 & 11. The tournament champion will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Men's College Cup.



2011 Record

(1st-Place Votes)


Western Illinois

13-7-1 // 4-2-0, 1st

46 (5)


Kansas City

5-9-3 // 2-2-2, 5th

39 (1)



6-11-1 // 3-3-0, 4th

38 (2)


Oral Roberts

7-11-1 // 3-2-1, t-2nd




6-10-2 // 2-3-1, 6th



Fort Wayne

8-10-2 // 3-2-1, t-2nd



Eastern Illinois

7-9-1 // 1-4-1, 7th







Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks
2011: 13-7-1 Overall; 4-2-0, 1st in Summit League
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 14/9 | Newcomers: 19
Head Coach (Year): Dr. Eric Johnson (16th) – 2011 Coach of the Year
Key Returnees: Nathan Bruinsma, F (2nd Team All-Summit, 5 G, 12 Pts.); Husref Jupic, M (2nd Team All-Summit, 3 G, 9 Pts.); Diego Gonzalez, M (3 G, 7 Pts.); Charlie Bales, D (Defensive Player of the Year, 2 G, 6 Pts.)

Kansas City Kangaroos
2011: 5-9-3 Overall; 2-2-2, 5th in Summit League
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 12/9 | Newcomers: 8
Head Coach (Year): Rick Benben (15th)
Key Returnees: Jordan Rideout, F (Newcomer of the Year, 7 G, 14 Pts.); David Sarabia, F (2 G, 7 Pts.); Jeffrey Stezovsky, D (All-Newcomer); Michael Oakley, D (All-Newcomer); Zach Balthazar, F/M (15 GS, 1 A)

Oakland Golden Grizzlies
2011: 6-11-1 Overall; 3-3-0, 4th in Summit League
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 11/7 | Newcomers: 7
Head Coach (Year): Eric Pogue (4th)
Key Returnees: Jeff Cheslik, M (4 G, 9 Pts); Miche'le Lipari, M/F (2 G, 5 Pts.); Johnny Dreshaj, M/F (2 G, 5 Pts.); John Timm (1st Team All-Summit, 2 G); Scott Messer, GK (1.89 GAA, 1 ShO)

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
2011: 7-11-1 Overall; 3-2-1, t-2nd in Summit League
Starters R/L: 5/6 | Letterwinners R/L: 14/8 | Newcomers: 14
Head Coach (Year): Steve Hayes (15th)
Key Returnees: John David James, D (3 G, 8 Pts.); Griffith Poindexter, M/D (All-Newcomer, 2 G); Cody Lofgren, M/D (2 G, 5 Pts.); Trevor Laffoon, D (2 G, 5 Pts.); Alex Mackie, D (15 GP)

IUPUI Jaguars
2011: 6-10-2 Overall; 2-3-1, 6th in Summit League
Starters R/L: 5/6 | Letterwinners R/L: 10/14 | Newcomers: 14
Head Coach: Isang Jacob (2nd)
Key Returnees: Sam Fuller, F (All-Newcomer, 4 GWG, 9 Pts.); Kyle Hyland, MF (2nd Team All-Summit, 4 A, 6 Pts.); Joshio Sandoval, MF (17 GS); Ian Block, F (2 G, 4 Pts.)

Fort Wayne Mastodons
2011: 8-10-2 Overall; 3-2-1, t-2nd in Summit League
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 13/9 | Newcomers: 14
Head Coach (Year): Mike Harper (6th)
Key Returnees: Myles Stanley, D (All-Newcomer, 3 G, 7 Pts.); Kyle Ackerman, F (1G, 4 Pts.); Brandon Cloutier, GK (All-Newcomer, 1.74 GAA, 2 ShO); Brent Helton, D (2nd Team All-Summit, 17 GS); Mitch Falkenstern, D (20 GS, 1 A); Nate Shipman, M (20 GS, 1 A)

Eastern Illinois Panthers
2011: 7-9-1 Overall; 1-4-1, 7th in Summit League
Starters R/L: 6/5 | Letterwinners R/L: 12/12 | Newcomers: 11
Head Coach (Year): Adam Howarth (13th)
Key Returnees: Will Butler, M/F (All-Newcomer, 3 G, 11 Pts.); Jake Brillhart, M (All-Newcomer, 4 G, 10 pts.); Garet Christianson, F (3 G, 6 Pts.); Evan Turner, GK (1.63 GAA, 1 ShO)

Omaha Mavericks
2011: 1-11-1 Overall
Starters R/L: 9/2 | Letterwinners R/L: 10/9 | Newcomers: 15
Head Coach (Year): Jason Mims (2nd)
Key Returnees: Craig Buettner, F (1 G); Josh Christensen, GK (2.95 GAA); Vance Rookwood, MF (1 G, 3 Pts.); Mo Salama, D (1 G)

Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 144,000 at nine universities, four of which are located in top 58 U.S. metro populations (Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Omaha). Member institutions include: Fort Wayne (Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Omaha (University of  Nebraska Omaha), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 54 All-Americans, 37 Academic All-America selections and seven NCAA Championships. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org to "See The Summit" or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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