The Tabor College men’s and women’s soccer teams hope to continue their climb up the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference ladder this season.
• Men’s team: The Bluejays were ranked fifth by the KCAC coaches’ preseason poll.
“I am pleased with being selected fifth by the coaches in the preseason poll,” said coach Grant Brubacher, who has been in that role since 2006. “The top four spots have been held by the same four schools for several years now, and I believe we have the talent to break into that group.”
As per usual, Kansas Wesleyan topped the poll, with McPherson, Friends and Ottawa following in order.
The Bluejays return 13 players from last year’s team, including first-team all-conference selection Robert Masson, and junior David Simmet, who was picked for the second team.
The Bluejays posted a 4-13 season record, going 3-6 in the KCAC.
“We will have many new faces on this year’s team, but the team should have more depth and talent than in previous years,” Brubacher said. “I am excited about the upcoming season and I expect a much-improved team.”
The Bluejays started the regular season with a home 4-5 loss to Central Methodist College Aug. 27. They will host York (Neb.) College Sept. 3 beginning at 5 p.m.
• Women’s team. The Bluejays struggled last year, finishing with a 1-14 record. The KCAC coaches’ poll reflects that fact with 10th-place ranking for 2011.
But coach Grant Brubacher remains hopeful about the team’s chances this season.
“I am disappointed with our women being selected 10th in the conference,” Brubacher said. “We will have a very young team, but we have a large group of returning letter-winners and a talented class coming in.
“I expect the women to be much more competitive this season.”
The Bluejays return 13 players, 11 of whom played last year as freshmen. Returners include All-KCAC players Megan Beals and Molly Clark.
“We should show significant improvement in our midfield and forward play that will add to the solid defensive team we have returning,” Brubacher said.
“My hope is that the women use this selection as motivation to have an excellent season.”
The Bluejays opened their season Aug. 27 with a 0-5 loss at home to Central Methodist College. They will host York College at 3 p.m. Sept. 3.