WESTWOOD, Mass. - After finishing last season with a 5-5 record, including a mark of 3-4 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), the Catholic University football team was picked to finish fifth in the 2018 NEWMAC Preseason Coaches Poll released on Monday.
The Cardinals, who were also picked fifith in the NEWMAC's inaugural season a year ago, finished fifth in 2017 behind Springfield, WPI, MIT and Merchant Marine which was the same predicted order of finish for this season.
Springfield won the first-ever NEWMAC title with a perfect 10-0 regular season, advancing to the NCAA Division III Football Championship with an at-large selection. The Pride topped this year's preseason poll with seven first-place votes. WPI was picked second, receiving one first-place vote, after winning its first-ever postseason game with a 17-3 victory over Maritime (N.Y.) in a New England Bowl Series game.
MIT, who advanced to the NEWMAC championship game against Springfield in 2017, and Merchant Marine finished in a tie for third. Catholic was fifth, followed by Coast Guard, Norwich and Maine Martime, all of whom finished sixth in the conference a year ago with 1-6 records.
The NEWMAC welcomes back 25 all-conference selections and four all-region honorees as well as a Second Team All-American and national finalist for the Cliff Harris Award. The NEWMAC also returns the reigning Defensive and Special Teams Athlete of the Year.
Conference play begins on Saturday, September 22 as Catholic travels to MIT.
2018 NEWMAC Football Preseason Poll
Rank (First Place Votes)
1. Springfield (7)
2. WPI (1)
t3. Merchant Marine
6. Coast Guard
8. Maine Maritime