University of Delaware Menís Soccer Team Earns Votes in NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Top 25 Poll
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The University of Delaware men’s soccer team, which returns eight starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad, earned some early season recognition on Wednesday as the Blue Hens received votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Top 25 Poll.
Delaware, coming off one of the best seasons in school history in 2013 when the Blue Hens finished 14-5-1, advanced to the CAA Tournament Semifinals and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, received 19 votes in the poll, the fourth most in the receiving votes section. League newcomer Elon, which received 17 votes, and William & Mary, which received one vote, were the only other CAA schools represented in the poll.
UD, led by ninth-year head coach Ian Hennessy, returns its top four goal scorers from last year’s high-powered team that ranked second in the nation by averaging 2.25 goals per game. The Blue Hens advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, and were awarded a home game vs. St. John’s that was played in front of over 1,100 fans.
Last year freshman Guillermo Delgado was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and received second team All-American honors after setting UD freshman records with 15 goals and 35 points. Current senior Roberto Gimenez and sophomore Jaime Martinez each finished the year with five goals and a team-high six assists for 16 points, while junior Joe Dipre contributed five goals and a pair of helpers.
The Blue Hens also return starting goalkeeper Borja Barbero, a rising senior who was named to the All-CAA first team a year ago. Barbero posted a .737 save percentage, made a conference-best 70 saves and recorded five shutouts during his first season in Newark.
Notre Dame was selected to the top spot in the poll while Maryland, which hosts the Blue Hens in an exhibition match on Aug. 23, was picked second. Delaware will face three teams in the poll during its regular season, heading to seventh-ranked Cal on Sept. 19 and 20th-ranked Stanford two days later before hosting No. 19 UMBC on Sept. 30.
The Blue Hens kick off their 2014 regular season with three consecutive home matches at Grant Stadium, including the season-opener on Friday, Aug. 29.