Updated Thu, Aug 22, 2013 7:50 am
Once again, the Rio Grande RedStorm have been given a stamp of confidence from coaches at fellow NAIA schools. They come into the 2013 season with a No. 9 ranking as voted on in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
The 2012 RedStorm put together a 16-3-1 record and exited their campaign via a loss to Hannibal-LaGrange in the second round of the NAIA tournament. Rio defeated a No. 1. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Blue Raiders squad, catapulting the RedStorm to the No. 1 ranking in late September.
Rio Grande has ranked among the top 10 ranked teams in the poll the last 50 times it has been released.
Rio Grande lost All-Americans Jack Marchant, Oliver Hewitt-Fisher and Richard Isenberger, but return plenty of talent. The RedStorm also are set to bring in international talent to make up for the losses in the midfield, forward and goalie spots.
Rio Grande starts its season Saturday, Aug. 24, when it hosts Saint Xavier (Ill.) University, to whom the RedStorm lost in the team’s opener a year ago in a 1-0 match. The match is set for 7 p.m.