(Posted August 12, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Juniata College was picked to finish seventh in the Landmark Conference in 2009, according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches and sports information directors released Wednesday.

Third year head coach, Dan Dubois, returns 23 players from a year ago including senior Andrew Steffen (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) who earned All-Conference honors as a midfielder in his junior year. Steffen recorded four goals and three assists for the Eagles who tallied 24 points in the poll.

Drew University, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament with a 14-4-2 overall record and a mark of 6-0-1 in the Landmark grabbed the top spot in the standings with 89 points. The conference runner-up, Catholic University was selected second in the poll with 74 points.

The 2008 Landmark Champions, Susquehanna, also claimed an NCAA Tournament bid a year ago but will be without nine starters from that team. The Crusaders were picked third in the preseason poll with 70 points, closely followed by Scranton in fourth with 64 points.

The United States Merchant Marine was selected fifth with 51 points and returns eight starters to the pitch that led the conference in scoring a year ago.

Six points separate the final three spots with Moravian, Juniata and Goucher rounding out the poll. The Greyhounds placed sixth with 27 points while the Gophers picked up 21 points in eighth place.

Juniata finished 5-8-2 overall and 0-5-2 in the conference but has seven of the top 10 point producers returning for the Eagles. The top three point producers for Dubois are back in junior Noah Bowers (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), sophomore David Grim (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) and Steffen. Bowers scored seven goals and had four assists in 2008. Grim tallied 11 points scoring five goals with one assist a year ago. The Eagles return an experienced keeper in junior Joe Kohler (Vienna, Va./James Madison) who started seven games and recorded 49 saves in over 699 minutes a year ago.

The Eagles will start their season at the University of Pittsburgh - Greensburg on September 1, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

Complete preseason poll results are listed below:

2009 Preseason Men's Soccer Poll

1. Drew University - 89 pts.
2. Catholic University - 74 pts.
3. Susquehanna University - 70 pts.
4. University of Scranton - 64 pts.
5. United States Merchant Marine - 51 pts.
6. Moravian College - 27 pts.
7. Juniata College - 24 pts.
8. Goucher College - 21 pts.


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