Defending co-champion Hope has been chosen the preseason favorite in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) men's soccer race for the 2011 season. Coach Steven Smith's Flying Dutchmen, who shared the MIAA title with Calvin last fall, received five of a possible eight first-place votes to nose out the Knights in the first-ever men's soccer preseason coaches poll. Olivet was selected third, followed by Adrian, Kalamazoo, Trine, Alma and Albion.
Poll Results: (first-place votes in parenthesis): 1. Hope (5) 10. 2. Calvin (3) 11. 3. Olivet 21. 4. Adrian 28. 5. Kalamazoo 32. 6. Trine 37. 7. Alma 39. 8. Albion 46.
This year's season will feature the first-ever MIAA men's soccer tournament, with the top four teams in regular season conference play to advance to play the first weekend in November to determine the MIAA's representative to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Flying Dutchmen begin their pre-season practices on Monday, Aug. 22. The team will play its first five games on the road beginning Friday, Sept. 2, at Denison, Ohio. The home opener will be Friday, Sept. 16 against Madonna.