Aug 03, 2022

⚽ Tiger men start 2022 season ranked seventh in Top 25 poll

Posted Aug 03, 2022 9:20 PM

FHSU Athletics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Coming off a run to the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last year, the Fort Hays State men's soccer team will open the 2022 season ranked No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll.

This is the second time the Tigers have been in the Top 10 of the preseason poll, but it's the eighth time the Tigers have started a season in the national rankings in what will be just their 12th year of existence. The program began in 2011. The highest preseason rank the Tigers have ever held was No. 3 going into the 2019 season when they were coming off their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the national semifinals in 2018.

The Tigers have now made nine consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The streak, which is the longest in NCAA Division II, began in 2012. The 2020 year saw the cancellation of the NCAA Championships due to COVID, but the Tigers were able to pick up where the streak left off making a deep run again in 2021.

The Tigers return four all-conference players, which includes three all-region selections, to their roster in 2022. Blake Arndt, the 2020-21 Spring GAC Offensive Player of the Year, is back to lead the offensive attack. Arndt led the GAC/MIAA in goals (13) and points (30) during the 2021 season. Kieran Brown is back between the pipes after producing an .812 save percentage in 2021, holding opponents to an 0.83 goals-against average. Brown also collected eight shutouts last season. Ethan Doud (midfielder) and Haruya Iwasaki (defender) were also all-conference selections last year.

Fort Hays State produced a record of 15-6-2 in 2021. The 15 wins were second most for a season in program history, only topped by the 17 produced by the 2018 squad that made the national semifinals. The 15 wins were most so far on head coach Gerry Cleary's watch at FHSU, now going into his fourth season leading the team with a 32-14-5 mark at the helm over his first three seasons. The Tigers have two GAC/MIAA Championships under Cleary so far, a regular season title in 2019 and a tournament title in 2021.

The Tigers open the regular season at home against CSU-Pueblo on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m., the first of eight regular season home matches. The Tigers have a pair of exhibition contests the week prior at home as well.

Below is the complete 2021 United Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll.
1. Cal State-Los Angeles 18-2-3
2. University Of Charleston 19-3-2
3. Nova Southeastern 16-3-2
4. University Of Indianapolis 18-1-3
5. Cal Poly Pomona 14-5-4
6. Millersville 15-6-2
7. Fort Hays State 15-6-2
8. Auburn Montgomery 11-4-4
9. Colorado Mesa 16-4-2
10. Davis & Elkins College 17-1-3
11. Young Harris College 18-0-2
12. Franklin Pierce 20-1-1
13. Palm Beach Atlantic 13-3-0
14. Chowan 13-4-2
15. Lake Erie College 16-4-1
16. Illinois-Springfield 13-6-2
17. West Texas A&M 14-4-1
18. Gannon 16-3-3
19. Azusa Pacific 12-3-2
20. Colorado School Of Mines 14-4-2
21. University Of Tampa 13-4-0
22. Midwestern State 16-3-1
23 CSU-Pueblo 15-6-2
24. West Florida 11-3-4
25. Maryville 13-4-3
Also receiving votes: Wilmington, Post, Wisconsin-Parkside, American International College, Seattle Pacific.