FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2016
Four-time Defending Champion SNHU Tops Coaches’ Poll
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Four-time defending Northeast-10 Conference Champion Southern New Hampshire has been selected as the top team in the NE-10 Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll, it was announced on Tuesday.
For complete results of the poll, which is voted upon by the league's head coaches, please see below.
The Penmen compiled 167 points in total and 12 first-place votes to land the top spot. Last season, SNHU went 19-1-1 overall and 12-1 in conference play. The Penmen ran through the NE-10 Championship without surrendering a single goal, capping it off with a 1-0 win over Adelphi in the finals, while making its eighth straight NCAA tournament appearance before falling to LIU Post on penalty kicks in the East Regional finals.
Although SNHU lost three first team all-conference members from a year ago, including two major NE-10 award winners, second-year head coach Josh Taylor still returns some major pieces for 2016. Reigning NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year and All-American Nick Zucco returns for the Penmen, as well as all-conference back Michael Rowley, who was tied for eighth in the league with eight goals in 2015.
Adelphi comes in at No. 2 in the preseason poll with 154 points and a pair of first-place nods. The Panthers, who posted a record of 13-5-3 (9-2-2 NE-10) a season ago, are set to bring back a talented core from its 2015 NE-10 runner-up squad, including all-conference first-teamers Federico De Oliveira, Caelan Hueber and Alejandro Penzini, along with Rookie of the Year James Thristino.
Taking the third spot was Merrimack, which racked up 146 points in total. The Warriors, who went 15-4-2 (9-2-2 NE-10) last season, enter the new season ranked 19th in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, while SNHU was tabbed at No. 8. Merrimack is slated to return two of its top goal-scorers from last season in Jaime Cortes Torres and Joseph Briers.
Rounding out the top-5 were Le Moyne (127 pts.) and Southern Connecticut (126), separated by just one point. Bentley was slotted at No. 6 with 111 points, while Franklin Pierce (87), Stonehill (84), Saint Rose (75) and Saint Michael’s (67) concluded the top-10 teams. American International (44), Assumption (42), New Haven (30) and Saint Anselm (14) concluded the poll.
The new season will officially begin on Thursday, Sept. 1, with six NE-10 teams hitting the field. The NE-10 Championship will begin with quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 1, followed by the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4. The title match will be played on Sunday, Nov. 6.
2016 NE-10 Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. So. New Hampshire – 167 Pts. (12)
2. Adelphi – 154 (2)
3. Merrimack – 146
4. Le Moyne – 127
5. So. Connecticut – 126
6. Bentley – 111
7. Franklin Pierce – 87
8. Stonehill – 84
9. Saint Rose – 75
10. Saint Michael’s – 67
11. American Int’l – 44
12. Assumption – 42
13. New Haven – 30
14. Saint Anselm – 14
(#) – indicates first-place votes
ABOUT THE NORTHEAST-10
The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,500 student-athletes.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.