Men's Soccer: Panthers picked ninth in USA South preseason poll

Men's Soccer: Panthers picked ninth in USA South preseason poll

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) – Christopher Newport University was picked in the preseason coaches' poll to defend its USA South Athletic Conference men's soccer title in 2012. Last fall, in addition to its Conference Regular Season championship, the Captains captured the program's third consecutive USA South Tournament crown. The Captains are currently ranked 13th in the National Collegiate Soccer Coaches Association of America (NCSAA) national preseason poll.

The 2012 season marks the first in the USA South for new Conference members LaGrange College, Maryville College and Piedmont College. Each institution is a former member of the Great South Athletic Conference.

The Panthers, under head coach Jeff Geeter, are picked ninth in the preseason poll. Last season, the Panthers were 2-14 in their final season in the Great South Athletic Conference.

"Obiviously it presents a challenge for us and is perfectly understable coming off last season," said Geeter about the poll. "We've got to get after it and our target is to make the playoffs this first year and build from there."

CNU received eight of nine first place votes (64 points) as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.

Methodist University finished second in the balloting with 51 points while Averett University placed third with 48 points and the final first place vote. Last season's Conference tournament runner-up, N.C. Wesleyan College, ranked fourth with 44 points while newcomer Maryville was fifth with 40 points. Greensboro College, Piedmont, Ferrum College and the Panthers rounded out the poll with 31, 23, 13 and ten points, respectfully.

The men's soccer regular season gets underway on Friday, August 31 as six teams, including the Panthers, are in action. The Panthers host Huntingdon at 7:30 p.m. at Panther Field.

The USA South Tournament will once again head to Martinsville, Virginia as the Southern Virginia Recreation Facilities Authority will host the 2012 Men's and Women's Soccer semifinals and finals. The contests will be held at the Smith River Sports Complex on November 2 and 3. The first round games of the tournaments will continue to be held on the campuses of the higher seeded team and will take place on Saturday, October 27. The top-eight seeded teams after the conclusion of regular season competition will advance to the tournament.

2012 USA South Men's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll

Rank

Institution (1st Place Votes)

Pts.

1.

Christopher Newport (8)

64

2.

Methodist

51

3.

Averett (1)

48

4.

N.C. Wesleyan

44

5.

Maryville

40

6.

Greensboro

31

7.

Piedmont

23

8.

Ferrum

13

9.

LaGrange

10+