DU Earns NSCAA Preseason Top 20 National Ranking

Denver men's soccer team (photo by John Baker)
Denver men's soccer team (photo by John Baker)

NSCAA Preseason Top 25 Poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (denverpioneers.com) – The University of Denver men's soccer program is ranked No. 20 in the 2016 National Soccer Coaches' Association of America Preseason Poll, the NSCAA released on Tuesday. 

Denver is ranked in the NSCAA Division I Preseason poll for the first time in program history. The Pioneers did receive votes in the 2014 poll, but were not in the top-25. 

"Obviously it is an honor to be ranked in the top-20 in the country heading into the season by my peers in the coaching profession," second-year head coach Jamie Franks said. "This preseason ranking will motivate our guys during our early August training sessions as we look to build up to win games in November and December. With that said, I think we learned a lot in the offseason from last year's results, in that the only ranking and the only game that matters to this group and our program in the end is the last one." 

The Pioneers earned 174 points in the poll, dropping three spots from its final spot in the 2015 postseason poll. Denver will make two trips in the first 10 games of the year to teams in the top-25 when the Pioneers visit No. 25 Rutgers on August 28 and No. 7 Creighton in a midweek match on Sept. 21.

Graduating just two players from its 2015 roster, the 2016 Pioneers will open the season with an exhibition at Air Force and a four-match road swing in New Jersey and Illinois. Denver will open its 2016 home slate on Sept. 9 and 11, and will host its third-consecutive Summit League Tournament in November.

Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, 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 eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.