This year, a title won’t be nearly as surprising, as it ranks No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll.
No. 1 Marshall finished last season with a record of 13-2-3. What was more impressive was how hot it got around the College Cup. After a 2-1 OT win over Fordham in the second round, the Thundering Herd upset then-No. 1 Clemson, holding the Tigers to a 1-1 game and then winning on penalty kicks.
Marshall won its final three games all by scores of 1-0 and all with game-winning goals from senior Jamil Roberts, who capped off his college career with an electrifying, OT-winner in the final.
While Roberts is gone, Vitor Dias will headline Marshall’s roster. Dias led the Thundering Herd with 19 points last season and took home the 2020 Conference USA Player of the Year award.
Indiana, which lost to Marshall in the final as the No. 3 seed, enters this season ranked No. 2.
Pittsburgh and North Carolina were both bounced in last season’s semifinals, but maintain their respective No. 3 and 4 rankings from the final poll. Georgetown rounds out the Top 5.
Clemson, which started the NCAA tournament as the No. 1-ranked team, slots in at No. 6, but it did receive a first-place vote. Marshall had 22 of the 24 first-place votes; Pittsburgh received one.
Marshall opens its season on the road against James Madison on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 pm. Indiana’s first match is at Notre Dame at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27.