Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks men's soccer team opened practice Wednesday afternoon amid muggy conditions in Clarksville.
The Eagles were picked fourth in the American Southwest Conference preseason poll announced Wednesday. Ozarks finished last season with a 12-5-3 overall record, their tenth straight winning season. The Eagles qualified for the ASC playoffs with a 8-3-2 conference mark and advanced to the semi-finals of the post-season tournament. The Eagles return 14 lettermen and bolster their roster with eight new freshmen.
Head coach John Cossaboon has been impressed with his team’s fitness level through two days of training.
“The number one thing that has impressed me is that they showed up wanting to play” said Cossaboon. “They just blew our fitness test off the map. We have increased the standards and we made it even tougher than it was. Last year we only had a couple guys finish the fitness test and this year the entire team completed it with the exception of a couple. The effort they made in the off-season has been evident.”
The Eagles will play a pair of exhibition matches next week and will open regular season play against LSU-Shreveport September 1 in Shreveport.
ASC Preseason Poll
Team (first place votes) - Points
1. Hardin-Simmons (12) - 362
2. Mary Hardin-Baylor (9) - 349
3. Texas-Tyler (2) - 305
4. Ozarks - 293
5. Mississippi College (2) - 284
6. Texas-Dallas (1) - 252
7. Schreiner (1) - 236
8. Howard Payne - 222
9. Texas Lutheran - 163
10. East Texas Baptist - 160
11. LeTourneau - 117
12. Concordia Texas - 85
13. McMurry (1) - 66
14. Louisiana College - 46