With 13 first-year players on the roster, the Albion College men's soccer program has a different feel for the 2017 season.
And that may be a reason why the Britons were picked to finish fifth in a poll of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association coaches released Wednesday.
"Over half of the guys will be new," second-year head coach Wytse Molenaar said. "It will be completely new, different and kind of unknown.
"I think we have brought in a good blend of athleticism, soccer IQ and pure speed, in some cases, but, more than anything, players who have played at a good level already," Molenaar added. "I'm excited about the mix because I believe they will fit with the guys who are coming back."
Molenaar added the goal is to continue the positive direction of the program after the Britons earned a berth in the MIAA Tournament last fall. The Britons achieved a 9-10 overall record and tied for fourth in the conference with an 8-6 record against MIAA rivals.
Albion opens the season Sept. 1-2 with non-conference matches against Hiram (Ohio) College and Westminster (Pa.) College.
Albion will play its first five matches on the road, including a Sept. 13 date against MIAA rival Alma College. The Britons will make their home debut Sept. 16 against Trine University.
The complete MIAA men's soccer preseason poll, with first place votes in parenthesis, follows. Calvin College (7) 7 points, Alma College (1) 14 points, Adrian College 18 points, Kalamazoo College 28 points, Albion College 30 points, Hope College 36 points, Olivet College 45 points, Trine University 46 points.
Get the latest information on the team by following @AlbionMSoccer on Twitter. General athletics news can be found @gobrits on Twitter and Albion College Athletics on Facebook