Despite Making Playoffs in 2010, Delaware Men’s Soccer Picked 11th in Coaches’ Poll
August 16, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- Despite an impressive run to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament in 2010, the University of Delaware men’s soccer team was selected to finish 11th in the CAA Coaches’ Pre-season Poll announced Tuesday.
Old Dominion was favored to win the league, garnering 112 points, including six of the 12 first-place votes. Virginia Commonwealth came in at No. 2, picking up 102 points with one first-place vote. Defending champion William & Mary landed in third, collecting 90 points and four first-place votes.
As the CAA Tournament field expands back to six teams, George Mason was fourth with 87 points, while UNC Wilmington and Northeastern were selected fifth and sixth respectively. The Seahawks grabbed 80 points, narrowly edging out the Huskies, who had 79 points and one first-place vote.
The 2010 runner-up, Hofstra, was picked just outside of the playoff picture with 67 points while James Madison garnered 53 points for eighth place. Drexel was chosen to finish in ninth place with 37 points while Towson landed in 10th with 37 points.
The Blue Hens, who went 5-4-2 in the league last season, making the CAA tournament for the first time, picked up 30 points for 11th place with Georgia State rounding out the poll in 12th place with 15 points.
“The games still need to be played so the polls become only a point in conversation,” said Delaware sixth-year head coach Ian Hennessy, who guided the Hens to their first post-season appearance since 1996 when Delaware was a member of the America East conference. “To be fair, as one of the nation’s strongest conferences, the CAA can be a very difficult conference to predict and if the CAA coaches could comment, they would all probably add that any team can beat any other team at any point."
During the 2010 season, the Hens, who finished 6-9-3 overall, knocked off three of the teams in the top six of this year's poll (Old Dominion, VCU and UNC Wilmington), as well as tying George Mason. In the semifinals of the CAA tournament, the Hens pushed eventual champion William & Mary to the final seconds of double overtime before succumbing to a goal in the 110th minute.
Seniors Evans Frimpong and Kyle Ellis are the squad’s top returning point-getters as each posted seven points during the 2010 campaign. Frimpong tallied three goals and one assist while Ellis was the leading assister with five, while also tallying a goal. Also back on the offensive side is sophomore Vincent Mediate, who capped his rookie season with one goal and one assist for three points.
Delaware will also bring back two solid backs in senior Darren O’Connor and sophomore John Dineen. The pair helped anchor a defensive unit that allowed just one goal over the final four games of the season.
The Hens also return two goalkeepers who each logged three shutouts a year ago. Junior Brandon Paul got the nod in eight games while making nine appearances, logging 776 minutes last fall. During that time, he blanked the final three opponents of the regular season and helped Delaware lock up a playoff spot. He made 45 saves, including five against VCU in the season finale, which clinched the Hens' playoff spot.
Also battling for time between the pipes this season will be senior Kris Devaux. Devaux saw 663 minutes of action in seven starts a year ago, stopping 28 shots and finished with a team-best 1.22 goals against average.
The Blue Hens will kick-off the 2011 campaign with a home game against the University of Massachusetts on Aug. 26. Action is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
2011 Colonial Athletic Association Coaches’ Poll: 1) Old Dominion (6 first-place votes), 112 points; 2) VCU (1), 102; 3) William and Mary (4), 90; 4) George Mason, 87; 5) UNC Wilmington, 80; 6) Northeastern (1), 79; 7. Hofstra, 67; 8) James Madison, 53; 9) Drexel, 40; 10) Towson, 37; 11) Delaware, 30; 12) Georgia State, 15