PAWTUCKET, R.I. — The Keene State College men’s soccer team was picked to finish fourth in the Little East Conference in a preseason coaches poll, the league office announced Thursday.

The Owls are coming off a season that saw them finish 13-6 overall and 7-2 in the Little East Conference, finishing as the runner-up for the conference regular-season title and postseason title. They received 44 votes in the poll and no first-place tallies.

Defending regular season champion Eastern Connecticut State was picked first with 59 points and four first-place votes, while tournament winner Western Connecticut State was second with 52 points and a pair of first-place votes. UMass Boston, which won tournament titles from 2014-16, was third with 49 points and three first-place nods.

Keene State returns All-LEC defender Isaiah Lovering, as well as top scorers Connor Downey (six goals, six assists in 2018) and Emmanuel Smith (six goals, five assists) and starting goalie Anthony Pasciuto (9-4, 0.71 goals against average, six shutouts).

The Owls begin their season Aug. 30, facing Salem State University in the Salem State Soccer Classic at 7 p.m.