The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets and Lady Jackets were both picked to place 10th in their respective American Southwest Conference soccer polls, which were released earlier this week.
The Yellow Jackets (5-9, 4-7) received 89 points in the poll, more than Belhaven (4-11-3, 2-8-1), with 58 points, and Louisiana College (4-13-1, 3-8) with 53.
The Lady Jackets (2-12-1, 2-8-1) garnered 85 points in the poll, more than Belhaven (2-14-2, 1-9-1), with 54 points, and Louisiana College (2-13-1, 1-9-1) with 33 points
Mary Hardin-Baylor (16-4-1, 8-2-1) is the preseason ASC men's favorite with 274 points and 11 first-place votes, followed by second-place UT-Dallas (13-3-2, 9-1-1) with 264 points and 11 first-place votes; third-place Concordia (10-61, 8-3) with 226 points; fourth-place Ozarks (8-8-3, 6-4-1) with 181 points and one first-place vote; fifth-place Hardin-Simmons (4-11-2, 4-6-1) with 175 points and one first-place vote; sixth-place East Texas Baptist (10-6-2, 6-3-2) with 172 points; seventh-place LeTourneau (6-9-2, 5-5-1) with 158 points; eighth-place McMurry (6-8-4, 4-5-2) with 105 points; ninth-place Sul Ross (2-13, 2-9) with 99 points; then HPU.
UT Dallas junior midfielder Jesse Ardila and senior defender Mason Anderson were named the ASC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.
On the women's side, Hardin-Simmons (18-1-2, 10-0-1) is the preseason favorite with 288 points and all 24 first-place votes, trailed by second-place Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-5-2, 9-2) with 250 points; third-place UT-Dallas (16-2-1, 9-1-1) with 243 points; fourth-place Sul Ross (9-5-1, 8-3) with 211; fifth-place LeTourneau (11-6-2, 7-4) with 190 points; sixth-place Concordia (6-10, 5-6) with 161; seventh-place East Texas Baptist (8-8-1, 5-6) with 158; eighth-place McMurry (6-12-1, 3-7-1) with 112; ninth-place Ozarks (4-9-3, 2-7-2), then HPU.
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior forward Chelsea Graham and Hardin-Simmons senior defender Kendell Groom were selected as the ASC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Thirty-six student-athletes, including Lady Jacket defender Jayde Miyamoto, forward Lesly Garcia, and goal keeper Delaney Castor, were named to the ASC Women’s Soccer Players to Watch List.
The Yellow Jackets open their season Aug. 28 at Dallas Baptist and play their first home match Sept. 6 against Texas Lutheran. The 11-game ASC slate begins Sept. 26 at home against UT-Dallas.
The Lady Jackets host Cisco College on Aug. 27 in exhibition action, then venture to the University of Dallas on Aug. 31 for the season opener. The home opener is Sept. 6 at home against Texas Lutheran, while the ASC schedule begins Sept. 26 in Brownwood against UT-Dallas.
The eight-team ASC Championships are scheduled for Nov. 5, 8 and 10. The quarterfinals will be hosted by the top four seeds with the semifinals and championship game at the overall No. 1 seed. An automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championship will be on the line.