SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG was picked to finish sixth in the Southern Conference during preseason voting of the league's men's soccer coaches that was announced on Monday.
The Southern Conference men's soccer coaches have selected College of Charleston as the preseason favorite to win the league crown in 2010. The coaches also named an 11-player preseason all-conference team, which included UNCG's Will Mack.
UNCG finished a tough preseason with a 1-1 record, defeating No. 11 Duke on the road, 1-0, before falling at home on Saturday night, 3-0, against No. 4-ranked North Carolina. The Spartans welcome 16 new faces to the roster, returning just nine players from last year – four of those being starters.
One of those four returning starters, Will Mack, was named to the preseason all-conference squad in the balloting by the league's coaches.
College of Charleston, which finished in second place in the conference standings in 2009, is looking to become the sixth different team to claim a SoCon regular season championship in six seasons. CofC picked up five of eight first-place votes and 47 points overall. Forward Kareem Yearwood and defender Sean Flatley, both preseason all-conference selections, will be looked upon to lead the Cougars this season.
Elon was tabbed to finish second, collecting 40 points and a first-place nod. The Phoenix had three players selected to the preseason all-conference team, including forward Chris Thomas, midfielder Brad Franks and goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Furman (34 points) comes in at third place in the balloting while bringing in a first-place vote. The Paladins, whose combined 29 regular season and tournament titles are the most in SoCon history, will be looking for their first title since 2007.
Wofford won the 2009 regular season and tournament crowns, and has been predicted to finish fourth this season. The league's coaches honored three Terriers with all-conference nods in forwards Kentrel Owens and Wilson Hood along with midfielder Andrew Eppelsheimer.
Davidson (25) grabbed the final first-place vote and landed in the fifth spot, followed by UNCG (21), Appalachian State (19) and Georgia Southern (8).
Other members of the preseason all-conference team include midfielder Alex Caskey (Davidson) and defender Greg Macnamara (Davidson).
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team or players in the balloting.
The 2010 regular season begins on Wednesday, September 1 with half of the league's eight teams in action. The 2010 SoCon Men's Soccer Championship will feature the all eight teams with the final four facing off in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. on Nov. 12 and 14.
2010 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. College of Charleston (5) 47
2. Elon (1) 40
3. Furman (1) 34
4. Wofford 30
5. Davidson (1) 25
6. UNCG 21
7. Appalachian State 19
8. Georgia Southern 8
() denotes first-place votes
2010 Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
F Chris Thomas, Elon
F Kentrel Owens, Wofford
F Wilson Hood, Wofford
F Kareem Yearwood, College of Charleston
MF Alex Caskey, Davidson
MF Brad Franks, Elon
MF Andrew Eppelsheimer, Wofford
D Sean Flatley, College of Charleston
D Will Mack, UNCG
D Greg Macnamara, Davidson
GK Clint Irwin, Elon
- UNCG -