Jett Starr (Sr., F, Portland, OR/Cleveland HS)
By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. — The Willamette University men’s soccer team has received votes in the 2023 NCAA Division III Preseason Poll released by the United Soccer Coaches. The Bearcats were not included in the Top 25, but Willamette was one of five additional teams receiving votes.
Willamete also received votes in the 2022 NCAA Division III Final Poll conducted after the NCAA Playoffs. The Bearcats fell to eventual champion University of Chicago in the second round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Willamette finished the 2022 season with a 14-3-3 record that included the Northwest Conference Championship with a 10-2-1 mark. The Bearcats were listed #2 in the final regular season ranking for Region X of Division III.
In the 2023 Preseason Poll, the University of Chicago was ranked #1 after winning the National Championship with a 22-0-1 record. Williams College (Mass.) was listed at #2 following a 10-2-11 record in 2022. Williams fell to Chicago, 2-0, in last year’s NCAA Division III Championship game.
Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) was ranked #3 in this year’s Preseason Poll on the strength of an 18-1-5 record a year ago. The University of Mary Washington (Va.) was ranked #4 after going 15-5-5 last season, while Kenyon College (Ohio) was ranked #5 following a 19-2-1 season.
Willamette will open the 2023 season with an exhibition game against Western Oregon University on Friday, Aug. 25 at Sparks Field staring at 7 p.m. (PDT). WU will host crosstown rival Corban University in an exhibition game for the Bearcats on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.
The Bearcats are scheduled to open the regular season on Friday, Sept. 1 at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Game time is set for 8 p.m. CDT/6 p.m. PDT. Willamette will remain in Georgetown to take on the University of St. Thomas (Texas) on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. PDT/9 a.m. PDT.