MSU Men’s Soccer pegged as Valley favorites, three Bears earn honors


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — For the second straight season, the Missouri State Men’s Soccer team has been voted as the favorites to win the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Conference Coaches Poll released Tuesday gave MSU 32 overall points, including four first-place votes, to earn the top preseason spot.

“Our team is excited to get the season under way and compete in such a competitive conference,” Bears Head Coach Jon Leamy said in a statement.  “We are working hard in practice to accomplish our goals and, hopefully, by the end of the season we will fulfill our expectations.” 

The Bears were 2-2-2 in conference play last season and fell in the second round of the Valley Tournament.

The Valley also named three Bears to the preseason all-conference team: Josh Dolling, Kyle Hiebert, and Ben Stroud.

Drake was the only other school with three players on the list.

Dolling had a conference high 10 goals last season and was named to the MVC All-Conference First Team. 

Hiebert helped lead a Bears’ defense that led the conference in fewest goals allowed (13) and goals against average (0.70) the past two seasons.

For Stroud, it’s his second straight earns preseason all-conference honor. 

“Josh, Kyle, and Ben are deserving recipients for the preseason team,” Leamy said.  “It’s always good to be recognized for your hard work.  We just have to continue to get better every day as a team.”

The Bears kick off the regular season at home against UMKC on Friday, Aug. 29 at 7:00 p.m.      

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