Defending Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champion Redlands was selected as the unanimous favorite to finish first in the SCIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll as the Bulldogs hauled in all nine first place votes for 81 points in a vote conducted by the league's men's soccer head coaches.
Chapman received 62 points and finished second behind Redlands in the voting, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) (49) edged Cal Lutheran (48) for third. La Verne (45) narrowly finished ahead of Occidental (44) in fifth, while Pomona-Pitzer came in seventh with 40 points. Whittier (21) and Caltech (10) finished eighth and ninth respectively.
Winners of the last two SCIAC Tournament titles, Redlands posted an impressive 18-6-1 overall record in 2016, a 12-4-0 mark in league play, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship Elite Eight. After losing three of its final four games of the regular season, Redlands defeated Chapman, 2-0 to win the conference title and secure the conference's automatic qualifier to the national tournament. The Bulldogs moved by Washington University (Mo.) on penalty kicks in the NCAA First Round, and defeated DePauw, 2-1 in second round action. Redlands then defeated Chicago, 3-2 in a third round tilt before falling to St. Thomas, 3-2 in overtime.
Chapman, picked second in the preseason poll, also turned in a stellar campaign in 2016. The Panthers finished 7-2-1 in their final 10 games of the regular season and defeated La Verne, 2-0 in the SCIAC Tournament semifinals before falling to Redlands in the championship. Chapman earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship and defeated Texas-Dallas, 1-0 in a first round matchup before falling to Trinity (Texas), 2-0 in the second round and concluded its season 15-6-2 overall.
Redlands is slotted seventh in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll while Chapman received votes for consideration in the national ranking heading into 2017. The regular season slate begins Friday, September 1.
2017 SCIAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Redlands (9) - 81 points
2. Chapman - 62 points
3. CMS - 49 points
4. Cal Lutheran - 48 points
5. La Verne - 45 points
6. Occidental - 44 points
7. Pomona-Pitzer - 40 points
8. Whittier - 21 points
9. Caltech - 10 points