UNCG 23rd in NSCAA preseason poll
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro is ranked No. 23 in the adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason Division I men’s soccer poll.
Coming off of a 16-8-1 season and its third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16, head coach Michael Parker’s squad will be missing some very familiar faces in 2007. Gone are All-Americans Randi Patterson and Scott Jones, both now playing in the Reserve Division of MLS. In all, UNCG lost six players off of that squad, all of which saw significant playing time last season.
In fact, of the six players that recorded 10 or more points last season, only junior forward Thomas Campbell (7g, 2a) returns this season. UNCG will look to junior forward Travis Young, a transfer from Kentucky last year who had eight points (2g, 4a) in his first season as a Spartan last year, to help Campbell provide some offensive punch. Among six returning starters, All-American candidate Jokull Elisabetarson returns to solidify the midfield.
UNCG, which was not ranked entering the NCAA Tournament last year, does return a nucleus on the defensive end. The backfield will be led by a pair of All-American candidates in David Worthen and D.J. McCurry, and sophomore goalkeeper Nate Berry. Berry played more than 2000 minutes in goal during his freshman season, more than any rookie keeper had ever played in the program’s storied history. In a typical roller coaster freshman season, Berry showed flashes of brilliance in recording a goals against average of 1.44 and a .729 save percentage. Worthen and McCurry both have appeared in more than 70 career matches at UNCG.
UC Santa Barbara, the defending national champions, are the NSCAA’s pre-season No. 1. UCLA, which was ranked No. 1 in the College Soccer News pre-season poll last week, is No. 2 on the NSCAA poll. Three ACC schools - Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia – round out the Top 5. Santa Clara is No. 6, followed by Indiana, SMU, Maryland, and Notre Dame.
Wake Forest, which will visit UNCG on Tuesday, October 16, is the only team in the pre-season poll that UNCG is slated to face in the regular season. UNCG will face No. 12 Clemson in the opening exhibition match for both teams on Saturday night at Clemson.
Creighton and Winthrop, which also received votes but did not make the Top 25, will also make appearances at UNCG Soccer Stadium. Winthrop comes to town August 26 for an exhibition match, while Creighton follows Wake Forest into UNCG Soccer Stadium on October 20.
The Spartans, who swept the Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles last year, will open the 2007 regular season at the James Madison Tournament on August 31, facing Georgetown at 5 pm. UNCG’s home regular season schedule opens on September 7 when the Spartans host Dayton in the first day of the UNCG Soccer Classic.
Season tickets and single-match tickets for UNCG men’s and women’s soccer are on sale now. Season tickets may be purchased through the Athletics Ticket Office at Fleming Gym, while single-match tickets may either be purchased at the Athletics Ticket Office or on-line at UNCGSpartans.com. For more information on tickets, call (336) 334-3250.
adidas/NSCAA Preseason Division I Men’s Soccer Poll
2006 Final Record Shown
1 UC Santa Barbara 17 - 7 - 1
2 UCLA 14 - 6 - 4
3 Wake Forest University 18 - 3 - 4
4 Duke University 18 - 4 - 1
5 Virginia, University of 17 - 4 - 1
6 Santa Clara University 13 - 5 - 5
7 Indiana University 15 - 4 - 3
8 Southern Methodist University 17 - 2 - 4
9 Maryland, University of 16 - 5 - 1
10 Notre Dame 15 - 6 - 2
11 California, University of 13 - 6 - 1
12 Clemson University 13 - 5 - 2
13 West Virginia University 15 - 3 - 3
14 Northwestern University 14 - 8 - 0
15 New Mexico, University of 14 - 4 - 3
16 North Carolina, University of 11 - 6 - 3
17 St. John's (NY) 14 - 6 - 2
18 Washington, University of 13 - 7 - 1
19 Lehigh University 15 - 2 - 3
20 Towson University 15 - 2 - 3
21 Old Dominion University 14 - 6 - 2
22 Saint Louis University 13 - 5 - 2
23 UNCG 16 - 8 - 1
24 Harvard University 14 - 5 - 0
25 Connecticut, University of 10 - 7 - 2
Also receiving votes: Creighton, Fairfield, Stanford, Ohio State, Illinois-Chicago, South Carolina, Rutgers, Rhode Island, San Diego State, Winthrop, Kentucky
- UNCG -