Ottawa’s push into the upper echelon of the KCAC begins Saturday.

The Braves men’s soccer team plays its first scrimmage 7 p.m. Saturday at Baker University in Baldwin City. The team then travels to Kansas City Kansas Community College for a 7 p.m. scrimmage Aug. 21 before opening the 2018-19 regular season 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at home against Dordt College.

Ottawa University was recently voted fifth in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason polls out of 13 programs (Avila University joined the KCAC starting this season).

The selection comes on the heels of OU’s first winning season in five years. In 2017-18, the Braves finished 9-8-2, including a 6-2-1 record in October. The team fell in the KCAC quarterfinals to Tabor College, 1-0.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University was the top pick in the preseason polls, and is ranked No. 3 in the nation to start 2018-19.

The full polls are as follows:

1 - Oklahoma Wesleyan 144 votes (12 first-place votes)

2 - McPherson College 114

3 - Friends University 106 (1)

4 - Kansas Welseyan 77

5 - Ottawa University 71

6 - Bethany College 64

7 - York College 49

8 - Tabor College 48

9 - Avila University 38

10 - Sterling College 36

11 - Saint Mary 25

12 - Southwestern College 22

13 - Bethel College 21