Spartans Third in Preseason B1G Poll
Aug. 22, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State was selected third in the pre-season men's soccer poll, as announced by the Big Ten Conference office on Tuesday. In conjunction with the pre-season survey, 2012 Players to Watch List was also released, as MSU senior Domenic Barone (Grand Rapids, Mich.), junior Kevin Cope (Canton, Mich.) and sophomore Adam Montague (Sylvania, Ohio) were mentioned among the conference's best.
WATCH: Personnel Breakdown
MSU is coming off a 7-8-4 record in 2011, and certainly is bolstered by the return of Barone and Cope, two previous All-Big Ten honorees who each missed all of last season with injury. In their absence, MSU struggled early to find consistency with new players stepping into unfamiliar roles, but made impressive strides and ended the regular season on a 7-1-2 streak, which included a win at then-defending National Champion Akron, ending the Zips' 48-game home unbeaten streak.
Montague, a Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree a season ago, stepped up as the team's leading scorer, with five goals and 15 points. With a deep roster of experienced veterans and the return of Cope and Barone, the Spartans were tagged third in the 2012 pre-season coaches poll.
Defending Big Ten Champion Northwestern and 2010 Big Ten Champion Indiana sharing top honors among the seven conference teams. The Wildcats enter the season tied as the conference favorites after winning their first Big Ten title in 2011. The Hoosiers are coming off their 25th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. Northwestern compiled a 4-0-2 record in Big Ten play last season en route to the conference crown, while Indiana finished at 3-1-2.
Ohio State follows MSU at No. 4 after earning a 4-2-0 record in Big Ten action last year. Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan round out the poll.
The 2012 season officially kicks off on Friday, which includes Michigan State hosting Valparaiso as the back-end of a women's/men's doubleheader at DeMartin Stadium. Gametime on Friday is 5 p.m., and MSU will also host New Hampshire on Sunday at 2:15 p.m.
BIG TEN MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
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