MLC men’s soccer picked fifth in preseason poll

NEW ULM – The Martin Luther College men’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the UMAC in the conference preseason poll released Wednesday afternoon.

MLC is looking to improve on last season’s 5-14 finish overall and 4-10 record in league play with seven returning starters from the 2013 season.

Senior midfielder Stephen Roekle returns to lead the offense after receiving Honorable Mention All-UMAC recognition in 2013. Roekle led the Knights with five assists last season, but will need to help an offense that lost several of its top goal-scoring options from last season.

Aaron Markgraf returns as the top goal scorer after scoring six times as a freshman in 2013 and finishing with 14 total points. Midfielders Isaiah Horn and Jacob Sheppard also return as starters from last season, while Jacob Zietlow also saw extensive action in the midfield last season.

Goalkeeper Eric Hahn returns in goal for the Knights after finishing 2013 third in the conference with 146 saves and a goals against average of 3.11. Micah Koelpin returns after starting all 19 games last year on defense, and will look to man the middle of a unit that will need to break in several inexperienced performers to start the season.

St. Scholastica was picked to finish first, finishing with the maximum of 49 total points and seven first place votes in the poll. Minnesota Morris was picked second with 42 points and one first place vote, while Northwestern and Bethany Lutheran rounded out the top four.

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