UB Men's Soccer's growing roster of experience gives us hope that the program is ready to take a big step forward from an average of just four wins per season over the last three.
Looking around the MAC, it's also easy to see just how far there is to go. Akron has been the class of the conference for years, even if they've slipped a bit lately, Western Michigan and West Virginia each return nearly their entire starting lineups, and Bowling Green comes into 2015 off a surprise run to the conference championship game last year.
A year after a 1-0-2 start to the short and volatile MAC schedule gave way to a pair of losses against West Virginia and Akron, UB fits in at fifth in the preseason poll, just outside of the forecasted tournament field. Though Buffalo returns experience up and down the lineup, much of the rest of the conference does as well. Akron (3), Western Michigan (2), and West Virginia (1) split the first-place votes as well as the votes to win the tournament championship.
A key this year for the Bulls will be finding a way to get three points from tight games instead of settling for ties. UB twice last year came from behind in MAC matches against Western Michigan and Bowling Green to force draws. Had either match finished with UB ahead, the Bulls would have made the conference tournament. Despite the preseason ranking from the rest of the conference, that has to be considered the goal in 2015.