USAO men’s soccer SAC preseason favorite … again

Drover soccer players celebrate their Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championship last November at Oklahoma City University. (Andy Morphew/USAO Sports Information)

From USAO Sports Info.
Andy Morphew, Sports Information Assistant

CHICKASHA – Trying to make it seven straight trips to the NAIA National Tournament, The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Men’s Soccer team for the sixth year in a row is the pre-season favorite.

The voting was done by the Sooner Athletic Conference head coaches, with the Drovers getting seven of the nine first place votes.

“It’s a good reflection of our program and an honor to be selected by the coaches in the conference,” said Drover Head Coach Jimmy Hampton. “We will do our very best to represent USAO and the SAC with our very best on and off the field.”

USAO, who finished last season with a 18-4 record and winner of the 2014 SAC Tournament, finished seven points ahead of Oklahoma City University, last year’s regular-season champion.

Southwestern Christian was picked third with 59 points, while Texas Wesleyan was fourth (58), Wayland Baptist fifth (52), and John Brown sixth (51). Mid-America Christian (39), St. Gregory’s (33), Southwestern Assemblies of God (25) and conference newcomer Bacone College (16) completed the poll.

The Drovers open up the 2015 season on the road in San Antonio, on August 27 the take on Our Lady of the Lake and two days later, will face Houston-Victoria on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake.

After the opening weekend, the Drovers will travel to McPherson College before coming home to face former conference rival Oklahoma Baptist on September 8 and be the first regular season game under the lights at Drover Pitch. Start time for the game will be at 7 p.m. and will be the first of nine games played in Chickasha.

Hampton and the team started practice this week and will play two scrimmages with the first one going against an opponent very familiar to the Drovers.

USAO will take on Oklahoma Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m. on August 17 in the first pre-season game at Drover Pitch, the last time they faced each other was the 2014 NAIA Opening Round of the National Championship.

In that game, the Drovers were victorious 1-0 to obtain a trip to the final site in Delray Beach, Florida.

Hampton starts his 17th season as Drover Head Coach and has a record of 228-87-14 as the men’s head coach.

2015 SAC Men’s Soccer Pre-Season Poll
No. Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th Total  
1. Science & Arts 7 1               79  
2. Oklahoma City 1 6 1             72  
3. Southwestern Christian   1 3 2 2         59  
4. Texas Wesleyan   1 2 3 2         58  
5. Wayland Baptist 1   1 2 2 1   1   52  
6. John Brown     2 2 1 3       51  
7. Mid-America Christian         1 5 2     39  
8. St. Gregory’s         1   6 1   33  
9. Southwestern Assemblies of God             1 7   25  
10. Bacone                 9 16