(Posted August 20, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College was picked to finish eighth in the Landmark Conference in 2008, according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches and sports information directors released Wednesday.

Juniata, which returns eight starters including First team All-Landmark Conference selection Bryan Hess (Hanover, Pa./South Western), tallied 15 points in the poll.

Drew University, the Landmark defending conference champion, sits atop the conference preseason rankings with 83 points. The Rangers are followed by last year's regular season champion, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, in second place with 75 points.

Susquehanna garnered 72 points in the voting and finished third in the poll, followed by the University of Scranton in fourth position with 64 points.
Moravian College, Catholic University, and Goucher College were separated by only three points in the fifth through seventh slots, with the Greyhounds picked fifth with 38 points. Catholic was sixth with 37 points, followed by Goucher with 36 points.

Juniata is coming off a 3-14-0 overall record last season, with a 1-6 mark in Landmark Conference play. The Eagles return five of the seven players who scored goals during the 2007 campaign, including the top two scorers in Hess, who tallied seven goals and one assist for 15 points, and junior midfielder Andrew Steffen (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) with five goals and one assist for 11 points. Juniata also returns its top keeper in sophomore Joe Kohler (Vienna, Va./James Madison); Kohler finished the 2007 season with a 1.95 GAA over 877 minutes and a .694 save percentage.

Complete preseason poll results are listed below:

2008 Preseason Men's Soccer Poll

1. Drew University -- 83 pts.
2. United States Merchant Marine Academy -- 75 pts.
3. Susquehana University -- 72 pts.
4. University of Scranton -- 64 pts.
5. Moravian College -- 38 pts.
6. Catholic University -- 37 pts.
7. Goucher College -- 36 pts.
8. Juniata College -- 15 pts.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.