The East Central University soccer team has been picked to finish fifth in the 2016 Great American Conference Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches.


The Tiger received 16 points in the poll after finishing fifth in 2015, with a 5-13 overall record and a 4-8 mark in the GAC. ECU returns 15 letterwinners and six starters from a year ago, including Taylor Kennedy. Kennedy led the Tigers with eight goals, two assists and three match-winning goals in 2015.


Harding, the defending GAC Champion, was picked to repeat with 36 points and six first-place votes. Southwestern was second with 30 points and the final first-place vote. Ouachita was third (26) and Southern Nazarene fourth (18) as the teams above ECU in the poll.


The two teams behind the Tigers in the poll were Oklahoma Baptist in sixth (13) and Northwestern in seventh (8).


ECU opens the season September 1 against Oklahoma Christian at 5 p.m. at Tiger Field.