McPherson College’s men’s soccer team has been picked to win the 2014 KCAC title, according to a recent vote of coaches.
The Bulldogs were second in the KCAC in 2013, going 7-2. They received four first-place votes and totaled 72 points.
Defending champion Kansas Wesleyan was second with 70 points, while rounding out the upper division were Tabor (67), Ottawa (57) and Friends (49). Tabor received three first-place votes, Kansas Wesleyan two and Ottawa the other.
Bethany was picked sixth, followed by Saint Mary, Sterling, Southwestern and Bethel.
"The KCAC is going to be a tight race this year," McPherson College coach Doug Quint said. "It's nice to see our conference improving and spending some resources for the sport. I applaud my fellow peers for selecting us to win the conference and for the respect they have shown the program. We have a lot of unproven players and parts at this point. Obviously where we finish at the end of the year is all I care about."
The Bulldogs have to replace arguably the KCAC’s most exciting player in two-time NAIA All-American Johnny Nuthall. Taylor Parrott, Rafael Fuentes and Yosafat Figueroa are other key graduation losses.
Among the key returners for McPherson are four-year starter Oscar Cortez, midfielder Nick Torres, Frenchman Kevin Aka and goalie Aaron Parrott.
Quint has added a passel of newcomers, among them Kevin Ndongo, forward from Jones County Junior College (Ala.), Yonan Rosas, forward from Skyline College (Calif.), Dinesh Prasad, defender from Cal State Stanislaus, midfielder Chris De La Cruz from College of Idaho, and Alex Ronnburg from Technical Univ. of Dortmund (Germany). Quint believes the Bulldogs have as much talent as any time in his tenure at Mac.
The Bulldogs, 10-8 overall last year, have loaded up the schedule with some tough teams. They open against No. 13 Benedictine College, then have to face back-to-back ranked opponents in UT-Brownsville and GPAC Champion Midland University. The Bulldogs go to Salt Lake City, Utah, for matches with Westminster College and University of Great Falls before they begin KCAC action Oct. 4 against Bethel College.