IU soccer ranked 2nd in preseason poll

The Indiana University men’s soccer team will start the 2018 season just as the Hoosiers finished 2017 — second.

The preseason United Soccer Coaches poll was released on Tuesday, and IU is ranked No. 2 behind only the team that handed the Hoosiers their only loss a year ago — Stanford.

The three-time defending champion Cardinal received 23 first-place votes, while Indiana and No. 3 North Carolina each received two first-place votes.

“We were excited to hear the news today that we are ranked No. 2 in the country,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said in a release. “The preseason poll is clearly a reflection on the success of last year’s team, and we are ready to get started with practice.”

The Hoosiers begin practice Wednesday for a schedule that will include eight teams ranked in the preseason poll and four more receiving votes. IU is one of four ranked Big Ten teams. The others are No. 7 Michigan State, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 21 Michigan.

“No question this particular schedule we put together is one of the most difficult in the history of the program,” Yeagley said. “Incredibly tough schedule. This is going to be one of the most exciting seasons for Indiana soccer.”

It will begin the weekend of Aug. 24 and 26 with tilts against No. 5 Wake Forest and the third-ranked Tar Heels.

Indiana returns nine starters from a year ago, when it finished second in the national polls with an 18-1-6 record following an NCAA record 19th appearance in the College Cup.

The Hoosiers’ home opener will be Aug. 31 against No. 23 Dartmouth at 8 p.m. as part of the Indiana Classic, which concludes Sept. 2 with an 8 p.m. match against UConn.

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