New Haven, Conn. (8/9/17) Wilmington University earned 156 points and seven first-place votes to earn the first-place spot in the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll, released on Wednesday by Commissioner Dan Mara. Voting for the preseason poll was conducted by the league's 13 head coaches in the sport.
Post University (137 points, 1 1st-place vote) and Caldwell University (127 pts, 2 1st-place votes) rounded out the top three in preseason poll. The top-three teams each advanced to the CACC semifinals last season, including Post reaching the championship final before falling in PKs to Georgian Court University, which placed fourth in this year's preseason poll with 123 points and two first-place nods.
Wilmington is expected to return several letterwinners from a season ago, including 2016 CACC Rookie of the Year Lorne Bickley. The Wildcats went 12-6-1 overall last year and 7-4-1 in league play to finish third in the CACC.
Post finished 4-4-4 in CACC action last season, but the Eagles played some of their best soccer late in the season, as they reeled off an impressive run to the conference championship final. The Eagles, along the way, rallied from a 3-1 deficit versus Caldwell in the CACC semifinals to score twice in the final 20 minutes of regulation and then notched the winner in the fourth minute of overtime to reach the final. The Cougars finished fourth in the CACC last season with a mark of 6-3-3 in conference play.
The remainder of the 2017 preseason poll included Jefferson (5th, 106 pts), Goldey-Beacom College (6th, 104 pts, 1 1st), Concordia College (7th, 86 pts), Dominican College (8th, 85 pts), Nyack College (9th, 76 pts), Bloomfield College (10th, 66 pts), Chestnut Hill College (11th, 45 pts), Felician University (12th, 37 pts) and Holy Family University (13th, 35 pts).
The 2017 season kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 31, with several CACC schools in action. The regular season will build up to the 2017 CACC Championship tournament on Oct. 30 and Nov. 3-5. The quarterfinals will be held on Monday, Oct. 30, followed by the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3 and the final on Sunday, Nov. 5. The semis and final will be staged at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J.
2017 CACC MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Wilmington University 156 (7)
2. Post University 137 (1)
3. Caldwell University 127 (2)
4. Georgian Court University 123 (2)
5. Jefferson 106
6. Goldey-Beacom College 104 (1)
7. Concordia College 86
8. Dominican College 85
9. Nyack College 76
10. Bloomfield College 66
11. Chestnut Hill College 45
12. Felician University 37
13. Holy Family University 35
() - First-Place Votes