University of Delaware Men’s Soccer Picked No. 3 in Colonial Athletic Association Pre-Season Coaches Poll
August 8, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- If the Colonial Athletic Association head coaches are accurate, the defending CAA champion University of Delaware men’s soccer team just might be standing in the winner’s circle again come November.
The Blue Hens, who opened pre-season camp Tuesday, have been picked No. 3 in the CAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll announced Wednesday. The pre-season ranking is the Hens’ highest ever since joining the CAA in 2002. Delaware will open the 2012 season Aug. 24 at Massachusetts.
Old Dominion was the pre-season favorite, earning nine first place votes and 99 total points, while James Madison earned one first place vote and 81 points and Delaware was third with 72 points. William & Mary was picked fourth followed by Northeastern, George Mason, Georgia State, Hofstra, UNCW, Drexel, and Towson.
The top six teams will advance to the CAA Tournament come November.
Traditionally regarded as one of the top men’s soccer conferences in the nation, the CAA sent four teams to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship in 2011 and has had at least one team advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA’s in seven of the last 10 years.
Delaware enjoyed a dream season in 2011 as head coach Ian Hennessy led the Blue Hen booters to a 13-6-4 record and the team’s first-ever CAA Tournament title and first league crown of any kind since 1983.
The Blue Hens knocked off Northeastern, top-seed James Madison, and No. 2 seed Old Dominion on the way to the CAA title a year ago. The Blue Hens then knocked off 2009 national champion Virginia 1-0 in double overtime in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national runner-up UCLA by a 1-0 score in the second round.
Topping the list of 10 lettermen who return from last year’s squad are junior forward Roberto Gimenez (10g, 7a/at right), who was named CAA Rookie of the Year and first-team All-CAA. Also back are junior midfielder Vincent Mediate (4g, 3a) and starting defenders Yoan Fontaine, John Dineen, and Prince Nartey. However, the Hens must replace All-American and CAA Player of the Year Evans Frimpong who led the team with 12 goals.
Old Dominion returns 10 starters from last year’s 12-6-2 team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament while JMU returns five starters from a team that posted a mark of 13-5-2 a year ago and advanced to the final 16 at the NCAA Tournament.
2012 CAA MEN’S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL: 1. Old Dominion - 99 points (9 first place); 2. James Madison - 81 (1); 3. Delaware - 72; 4. William & Mary - 69; 5. Northeastern - 61; 6. George Mason - 58 (1); 7. Georgia State - 57; 8. Hofstra, UNCW - 34; 10. Drexel - 24; 11. Towson - 16.
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