St. Thomas Men's Soccer received four first-place votes and has been picked for second place in this year's MIAC race in a preseason vote of head coaches.
Carleton (five first-place votes) was tabbed as No. 1. Both the Tommies and Carleton made the NCAA playoffs last season.
Last year's conference regular-season champ, Gustavus was picked third, with two first-place votes. Macalester, Augsburg, St. John's and Hamline received the Nos. 4-5-6-7 spots in the 11-team poll.
The 2018 Tommies finished tied for third in the MIAC (7-2-1) but received an at-large berth into the national playoffs. They reached the NCAA round of 16 in a 16-4-2 finish, and their final Division III ranking was No. 12.
Under Coach Jon Lowery, St. Thomas has three consecutive top-10 NCAA finishes, with a 12-3-1 postseason record from 2016-18. The program's 58 wins over last three seasons rank in the top four in Division III men's soccer.
The Tommies graduated four seniors, led by All-America forward Will Kidd and veteran starting keeper Aidan Hogan. They return 22 players, including 12 with some starting experience, led by All-MIAC defenders Sam Holton, a junior, and Jack Barry, a sophomore. They also have 10 newcomers.
St. Thomas plays two top-20-ranked teams in their first three games: No. 3 Chicago at home next Sunday; and at No. 8 Luther on Sept. 8.
Lowery's team opens its season at home this Friday against Washington (Mo.) (5 p.m.).
Lowery took his 100th victory in his seventh season at St. Thomas last November in the NCAA playoffs. He also coached his 200th game in 10 seasons as a college head coach in the 1-0 season-ending playoff loss to Luther.