Marshall stunned the NCAA DI men’s soccer world with its national championship run last season, winning the title as an unseeded team. 

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. 

TITLE THRILLER: Watch the highlights from Marshall’s win over Indiana in the Final

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. 

1 Marshall (22) 594 1
2 Indiana 569 2
3 Pitt (1) 555 3
4 North Carolina 510 4
5 Georgetown 488 5
6 Clemson (1) 476 7
7 Wake Forest 464 6
8 Stanford 435 10
9 Washington 424 8
10 Seton Hall 389 9
11 Penn State 343 11
12 Missouri State 317 12
13 UCF 293 13
14 Kentucky 261 16
15 Virginia Tech 247 15
16 Oregon State 223 18
17 Loyola Marymount 206 17
18 Charlotte 183 20
19 Marquette 177 14
20 New Hampshire 164 19
21 James Madison 132 21
22 Grand Canyon 80 25
23 Fordham 67 22
24 High Point 58 23
25 Coastal Carolina 38 24

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. 

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