Findlay, OH - The University of Findlay men's soccer team has been picked to finish sixth as revealed by the annual Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) preseason poll.
The men are coming off of a season in which they missed conference tournament play by one game and finished with a record of 9-7-1, the team's first winning season since 2005.
The Oilers graduated two-time all-GLIAC performer Mark Sleasman but return to the field in 2016 led by sophomore standout Michael Shaikly. Last season, Shakily won GLIAC Freshman of the Year, just the third time an Oilers player has won the award. The Colchester, England native scored three goals and led the team with seven assists in his first season in the Orange and Black.
Another all-GLIAC performer who is back for 2016 is sophomore Andrew Austria. A product of Beavercreek, Ohio, Austria started in 15 games last season and will again anchor a young defense that, with a year of experience under their belt, will be much improved.
"I think we scored enough goals last year to be a playoff team, but we didn't hold out enough on the other side", said head coach Andy Smyth. "That's our big upgrade this year and if we can cut down on the goals we allow, we can definitely challenge near the top of the conference."
Keeping balls out of the net will be the job of senior Joe McClanahan and junior Ben Richter. The pair of goalies return after combining for three shutouts last season. McClanahan led the duo with 40 saves in eight games while Richter had 22 saves in ten games.
The Oilers open their season on September 2 at 5:00 pm as they play host to Salem International.