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Men’s soccer team ranked No. 1 in Midwest Regional Poll

For the first time in school history, the Drake men’s soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest Regional poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Monday.

The Bulldogs, under the guidance of 12th-year head coach Sean Holmes, own a 5-3-1 record following a 3-1 victory at Bradley in their Missouri Valley Conference opener last Saturday.

“This is a great reward for our program,” said Holmes, whose team was ranked No. 2 in the Midwest Regional poll last week. “But this ranking is not only for the five weeks of this season, but the 24 years worth of work that all the players in Drake history have contributed to leading up to this moment. Hopefully, we can sustain things. We need to be ready to play every game.”

Drake opened the season beating then No. 7-ranked Indiana, 2-1, in an exhibition before meeting No. 22-ranked Michigan Sept. 4 and earning a 2-2 tie at then No. 17-ranked Northwestern Sept. 25.

“The rankings are based on our record but more than anything else our incredible strength of schedule,” added Holmes. “But we’re only halfway through the season. We still have more soccer to play.”

The Bulldogs are 3-2-1 in their last six contests, all played on the road. Drake will travel to Western Illinois this Wednesday (Oct. 7) before resuming MVC action at home against Evansville this Saturday at 7 p.m. a the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Midwest Regional Rankings:

  1. Drake 5-3-1
  2. Alabama-Birmingham 7-2-1
  3. Tulsa 6-3-1
  4. Kentucky 7-3
  5. Creighton 4-2-1
  6. Missouri State 5-3-1
  7. Southern Methodist 5-4-1
  8. Oakland 5-3-1
  9. Bradley 5-4-1
  10. Memphis 4-2-2