Related: USA South Release
ROME, Ga. -- The Covenant men's soccer team will enter the 2019 season as the favorite in the USA South West Division, as the conference released the preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday.
Coming off a 14-win campaign a year ago and a runner-up finish in the USA South Tournament, Covenant garnered three first place votes and 33 total points to edge out defending champion Maryville for the top spot in the West. The Scots return seven starters from last season, including All-USA South selections in Jesse Riggs, Paul Lemay, Josh Brower, and Parker Owen.
Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within that particular division-only. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.
Maryville also collected three first place tallies and had 32 points in the poll. Piedmont received one first place vote and 28 points, while Brevard rounded out the top four teams with 17 points. Huntingdon and LaGrange tied for fifth and Berea completed the poll.
In the East Division, Greensboro is the preseason favorite after getting five first place votes and 35 total points, N.C. Wesleyan, Methodist, William Peace, and Pfeiffer finish the top five in the division.
The 2019 USA South Tournament will begin on Nov. 2 with the top four teams in each division qualifying. Divisional seeds 1-2 host quarterfinal round matches on Nov. 2, then the highest remaining seed will host the semifinals and championship on Nov. 8-9.
Covenant opens the season on Aug. 30 against Randolph at the Maryville Bicentennial Kick-Off Classic in Maryville, Tenn.
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