Senior Trio Selected as 'Players to Watch' as HCAC Releases Pre-Season Rankings

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Phillips
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Phillips

HCAC Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) has tabbed a trio of Franklin men's soccer players as athletes to watch for the upcoming 2018 season, as the league released its pre-season coaches poll on Wednesday (Aug. 22) afternoon.

Forward Sam Stallsmith, midfielder Luke Oliver and defender Trey Floyd cracked the league's "Players to Watch" list in 2018 as all three prepare to embark on their senior seasons.

Cicero, Ind.-native Stallsmith is coming off a career-best year in 2017 that saw him pot a pair of goals and add three assists for seven points. The senior attacker recorded 16 shot attempts with eight shots on goal and will factor into the Franklin attack once again this fall.

Oliver started in all 17 games for the Grizzlies last year, potting three goals and handing out five assists for 11 points, good for a share of the team lead with Mason May. The Marion, Ind.-native recorded a five-game point streak last season and led the team with 37 shot attempts and 20 shots on goal.

A three-year starter for the Grizzlies at outside back, Floyd returns as the veteran presence on the Franklin back line. The Fishers, Ind.-native has started 40-of-41 games he has appeared in over his career, and in 2017 he finished with 11 shot attempts and one assist.

Franklin earned 35 points in the coaches' poll, ninth among conference teams. Defending league champion Transylvania sits atop the pre-season ranking after earning 91 points and nine first place votes. The complete poll can be found below.

The Grizzlies begin the 2018 campaign on Friday, Aug. 31, when they travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. to take on in-state rival Wabash College. Kick-off is set for 5:00 p.m.

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Transylvania (9)

91

2. Hanover (1)

79

3. Rose-Hulman

78

4. Manchester

68

5. Anderson

54

6. Defiance

45

7. Earlham

43

8. Mount St. Joseph

37

9. Franklin

35

10. Bluffton

20