Tiffin University's men's soccer team will open its 2019 season with a G-MAC matchup with Alderson-Broaddus on Sept. 5 followed by a game against Illinois-Springfield on Sept. 7.
The Dragons will look to defend their 2018 conference regular season and postseason titles, as they finished above the rest of the field at 11-3 in G-MAC action to earn the top seed and hosting rights for the conference championship. TU then took down Lake Erie and Ohio Valley to claim the title and reach the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in the Midwest Region. Overall they finished 15-4-1.
The Alderson Broaddus men's soccer team has been picked fifth in the G-MAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Battlers return two key midfielders, Melvrik Fernandes and Agostino Greco. Fernandes, a junior, played in every game last year and will return as a leader in the midfield. Greco, a sophomore, was second on the team in points last year, totaling 10.
On defense, junior Najee Holder will look to lead the backline. AB will look to two newcomers to make an immediate impact, junior transfers Yannick Koffi and Ala Ramadan. Both new players look to boost the Battlers' offense. The Battlers fielded a young team in 2018 and figure to improve significantly with the added experience.
UIS, meanwhile, were picked sixth in the GLVC in 2019. Last season, UIS had its best GLVC season in program history by going 8-3-2 and tying for third-place.
UIS finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-6-3 overall record. Among the returners for UIS this upcoming year include Mario Falsone, an all-region selection last season.
On the field, Falsone led the Prairie Stars with 14 points off five goals and four assists. The senior from Edinburgh, Scotland was named second-team all-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) honors and third-team USC All-Midwest Region recognition.
Falsone is tied for first among UIS Division II career leaders with 33 points. Among UIS Division II career leaders, Falsone ranks second with 13 goals and second with seven assists. Falsone trails the school records by one goal and one assist, respectively. Among UIS Division II single-season leaders, Falsone is tied for third in points, tied for third in assists and tied for fourth in points.
The Prairie Stars also set a school Division II record with a .583 conference winning percentage and matched last year's program record of eight GLVC wins despite competing in one fewer match.
UIS received its first-ever NCAA Division II Midwest Region ranking and peaked at No. 6. The Prairie Stars also peaked at a program-best No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA Division II Midwest Region poll.
Tiffin University's men's soccer team enjoyed a stunning run through the G-MAC Tournament in 2018, and the raters were watching, as the Dragons were ranked as high as 12th during the season. They jumped from 22nd to 12th heading into the NCAA Midwest Regional. The Dragons qualified for NCAA Regionals for the fourth time in the last six seasons. The Dragons also qualified for NCAA postseason play in both 2013, 2014, and 2016.
TU is led offensively by Abdoul Magid Sy. He led the G-MAC in points per game and game winning goals despite injury shortening his season. He also was a First Team D2CCA Midwest pick and is a 2017 First Team All GLIAC selection. He led the team with 10 goals and 24 points in just 13 games.
Dylan Morris returns in the nets for Tiffin after earning Second Team G-MAC honors last year. He had a strong freshman season in goal for TU, placing third in the conference in GAA (0.95), saves (51), and shutouts (5). Leo Hasenstab was an Honorable Mention selection as well in 2018, finishing 5th in the G-MAC in assists.