FAYETTE – The Upper Iowa men’s soccer team heads into the 2019 season, but they won’t be traveling south into the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association when conference matches begin. After seven years in the MIAA, the Peacocks will be competing in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The conference schedule in the GLIAC now takes up 14 of the team’s 18 matches slated for this fall.
The Peacocks have been selected eighth in their first GLIAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside edged Saginaw Valley State University by one point, 41-40, in the poll despite SVSU earning four first place votes and UWP collecting two first place votes. Northwood University (33) was selected third, while Ashland University (32) and Davenport University (25) each collected one first place vote a piece. The University of Purdue Northwest (22) and Northern Michigan University (21) came out of the poll in sixth and seventh place in the poll ahead of UIU.
Third-year Head Coach Willie McGowan will lead the Peacocks east as they compete in the GLIAC and he will be joined for the second year in a row by graduate assistants Seth Ownings and Milo Bruce-Burgess. Upper Iowa finished the 2018 season with a 5-9-2 record overall and 3-5-0 mark in the MIAA and had five student-athletes on the All-MIAA teams.
Upper Iowa will be led by a trio of talented upperclassmen including three-time All-MIAA performer Seth Russell (MF) and two-time All-MIAA performers Italo Martins Soares (F) and Marko Cirko (MF). The trio is joined by an experienced core that saw quality time on the pitch in 2018. The one area without experience in Peacock blue will be between the posts. McGowan is confident that there will be a great competition in preseason camp and one of the new keepers will grab hold of the position and make it his own.
UIU will play three scrimmages in August against Wartburg College, Hawkeye Community College and Truman State University. The team will compete in four non-conference matches prior to diving into the GLIAC schedule. The Peacocks will travel to Maryville University on Sept. 6 and Lindenwood University on Sept. 8 before returning home for a pair of matches on Pattison Field against the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Sept. 12 and Dakota Wesleyan University on Sept. 14. UIU’s first GLIAC weekend will be at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Sept. 20 and Northern Michigan University on Sept. 22.