The Eastern Kentucky University soccer team has been picked by league head coaches and sports information directors to finish third out of 11 teams in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.
EKU received one first-place vote and 147 points, finishing behind defending OVC Tourn-ament champion Murray State (18 first-place votes, 198 points) and defending OVC regular-season champion UT Martin (three first-place votes, 174 points).
SIUE finished fourth in the poll (134 points), followed by Eastern Illinois (106), Belmont (102), Southeast Missouri (95), Tennessee Tech (92), Morehead State (64), Austin Peay (59) and Jacksonville State (39).
The Colonels went 8-8-4 (4-3-3 OVC) and finished tied for second in the OVC last fall. EKU advanced past SIUE on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the OVC Tournament before dropping a hard-fought match to No. 1 seed UT Martin, 3-2, in the semifinals.
First-year head coach Matt Cosinuke took over the program in January and will have several key players back from last year's team, including senior midfielders Monica Rios (2018 Second-Team All-OVC and OVC All-Tournament Team) and Marian Wolski (started all 20 games a year ago), sophomore forward Sarah Owusu (2018 OVC All-Newcomer Team) and sophomore goalkeeper Zoe Aguirre (2018 OVC All-Newcomer Team and OVC All-Tournament Team).
The Colonels open the regular season at Ohio University on Thursday, Aug. 22.