UNCG No. 20 in Soccer Times Mens College Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro is rated No. 20 in Soccer Times’ Men’s College Top 25 Coaches’ Preseason Poll, which was released on Monday.
The rankings are determined by a panel of 16 Division I college coaches and is one of four national rankings in NCAA Division I men’s soccer.
Defending national champion Maryland is the No. 1 team according to Soccer Times, receiving eight of 16 possible first-place votes. North Carolina is second, followed by SMU, Connecticut and Virginia to round out the Top 5. Creighton was No. 6, followed by New Mexico, UCLA, Indiana and Clemson.
Other teams appearing in the Soccer Times ranking that are on UNCG’s 2006 schedule are No. 11 Akron, No. 17 Wake Forest and No. 23 Old Dominion. All of those matches are on the road this season.
UNCG, also picked as the league favorite by the Southern Conference men’s soccer coaches, opens the 2006 slate on Friday night against Jacksonville at UNCG Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 pm.
The Spartans, the only Southern Conference team to appear in any of the four pre-season national rankings, finished last season with a 16-6-1 mark overall, 5-1-0 in conference play. UNCG shared the Southern Conference regular season title, their second straight regular season crown, and won the SoCon Tournament title. UNCG advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round for the second straight season, defeating James Madison and Virginia Tech, which received votes in Soccer Times’ initial poll. The Spartans were knocked out of the tourney in the third round by SMU, which is ranked No. 3 in the Soccer Times poll to open this season.
The Spartans graduated five seniors from last year’s squad, including four starters, but return their top two scorers in Hermann Award candidates Randi Patterson and Scott Jones. UNCG’s incoming class was rated the 13th best recruiting class in the country by College Soccer News, its highest ranking and marking the fourth straight year it received a Top 40 ranking. UNCG was ranked No. 18 in CSN’s pre-season Top 30 when it was released last month, No. 12 in Soccer America and No. 21 in the NSCAA Coaches’ Top 25 when those polls were announced last week.
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