FHSU soccer ranked No. 23 in preseason rankings

FHSU Sports Information

Fort Hays State debuted at No. 23 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Preseason Rankings, released Thursday by the organization.

The Tigers finished 12-6-2 last season, earning a berth to the NCAA Tournament.  FHSU returns a majority of their starters from last season, including nine who started 17 or more games.

The Tigers graduated one All-American but returning another in Diego Cabral, a senior midfielder who was second on the team in points (23) and goals (eight) while leading the team in assists (seven) for 2013.

Cabral is one of six returners to start all 20 games for FHSU last season, joining midfielders Tanner Brock and David Lucio, and defenders Eric Hymer, Carlos Linares and Drew Wilson.  Brock and Hymer were All-MIAA First Team selections last year, while Cabral, Linares and Michael Cole earned recognition as All-MIAA Second Team (Cabral) and honorable mention (Linares and Cole).

In goal, Jason Babyak and Kent Freund return for the Tigers, having started 14 and six games, respectively, last season.  Babyak was named All-MIAA Second Team and MIAA Freshman of the Year for his play in 2013.

FHSU was one of two teams from the MIAA to earn a spot in the preseason rankings, as Lindenwood was slotted seventh in the poll.  Fort Hays State and the Lions squared off in the MIAA Championship and the NCAA Super Region 3 Semifinals in 2013.

The Men’s Soccer program opens fall camp this Sunday (Aug. 10), and will play two home exhibitions on Aug. 17 and 20 before the start of the regular season on Sept. 5.