Men's Soccer Tabbed Fifth In PBC Preseason Poll
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Having shown signs of future successes over the last five games of the 2008 campaign, the UNCP men’s soccer team was tabbed to finish fifth in a preseason poll of the league’s nine head men’s soccer coaches released Thursday by the league office.
Two men’s soccer teams – Francis Marion and Lander - stood tied atop the poll, marking just the second time in PBC history that feat has been accomplished. Francis Marion received four first-place votes on its eight ballots for 56 points while Lander was ranked either first or second on seven of their eight ballots, also for 56 points. This marks the first time since the inaugural season of 1992 that two teams have stood atop the preseason poll. That year, ironically, Lander was involved in a tie with former PBC member USC Upstate.
Notably, Francis Marion was picked to finish fifth in last year’s poll and, surprisingly, took home the league’s regular season crown, as well as advanced through to the second round of the NCAA postseason.
UNCP will return six starters and 12 other letterwinners off of last season’s club that churned out victories in four of its last five outings to conclude the season with a 9-9-1 clip. Among the returnees is forward Carlos Cipriano (1.6 points/game) and all-conference goalkeeper Horatio Bynes – both of whom make the trip back to Pembroke for their sophomore seasons.
The PBC will have a new look for the 2009 season with the addition of new members Flagler and Montevallo. Flagler played as a DII independent last season with an 11-5-2 overall record, while Montevallo finished undefeated in Gulf South Conference play with a 6-0 record, reached the GSC Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2009 season begins on August 27 with conference play beginning September 12. The PBC Tournament will begin with first-round games at home sites on November 3 with the final four returning to Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga., November 6- 8.
2009 PBC PRESEASON MEN’S SOCCER POLL
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
Rank, School, Pts.
T1. Francis Marion, 56 (4)
T1. Lander, 56 (2)
3. Clayton State, 49 (2)
4. Montevallo, 48 (1)
5. UNC Pembroke, 29
6. North Georgia, 27
7. Flagler, 26
8. USC Aiken, 23
9. Georgia Southwestern, 10