SSC Unveils Preseason Men's Soccer Poll

SSC Unveils Preseason Men's Soccer Poll

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Sunshine State Conference men's soccer coaches have chosen the University of Tampa seventh in its preseason poll with Palm Beach Atlantic University coming away as the favorite in 2019. With 96 total points and seven first-place votes in the poll, the Sailfish are expected to win a third consecutive regular-season championship.

Lynn University edged the defending National Champions, Barry University, for second place in the poll by two points, 83 to 81, respectively. Both the Fighting Knights and Buccaneers received a first-place vote in the preseason ranking. Fourth-place Nova Southeastern University tallied 76 points as well as the final two first-place votes, while Florida Tech rounds out the Top-5 following 71 points from conference coaches.

Florida Southern College sits in the middle of the poll with 53 points and is followed closely in the voting by the University of Tampa (45 points) and Rollins College (43 points). Saint Leo University (23 points), Eckerd College (21 points), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (13 points) occupy the final three positions in the ranking.

The Spartans are coming off a season where they finished 3-7-4 overall and 3-6-1 in the SSC. UT returns eight starters from its 2018 team that did not lose a game by more than one goal. Among the returners are leading scorer Juancho Fernandez (8 G, 2 A) and goalkeeper Jake Richards (1.57 GAA, 72 SV). Head coach Adrian Bush also welcomes 13 newcomers to his roster for the upcoming season.

Along with the 2018 regular-season championship, Palm Beach Atlantic claimed the SSC tournament title, a first for the Sailfish program. PBA fell to Lynn by way of penalty kicks in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Lynn advanced to meet Barry in the second round, in which the Buccaneers advanced following penalty kicks. Barry went on to defeat Lander University, Fort Hayes State University, and West Chester University to claim the 2018 National Championship. Lynn (3), Tampa (3), Florida Tech (2), and Barry (1) boast all nine of the SSC's men's soccer national championships.

SSC teams open up with non-conference matches on Thursday, September 5th with eight squads in action. The conference slate kicks off with four games on Saturday, September 21st. Barry (No. 1), PBA (No. 10), and Lynn (No. 12) represent the SSC in the 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II preseason men's poll. The ranking was announced Tuesday, August 6th.

The Spartans open the regular season on September 5 at West Florida, and will host Flagler College on Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m., in its home opener. The Spartans will meet the University of South Florida on Saturday in the exhibition Rowdies Cup, which is played annually between the inter-city schools. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Corbett Field on the campus of USF.

2019 SSC MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Rank

School

Total

1

Palm Beach Atlantic

96 (7)

2

Lynn

83 (1)

3

Barry

81 (1)

4

Nova Southeastern

76 (2)

5

Florida Tech

71

6

Florida Southern

53

7

Tampa

45

8

Rollins

43

9

Saint Leo

23

10

Eckerd

21

11

Embry-Riddle

13

(First Place Votes)