LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland men’s soccer was selected third in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll in a vote of league coaches released today by the conference office.
Head coach Adam Grant, who takes over the men’s program after two years serving in the same capacity with the CU women’s team, returns just five starters and 12 total letterwinners from last season’s club that finished 10-7-1 overall, 5-2-0 in league play.
The club’s two leading goal scorers – Daniel Williams (16 goals, 2 assists) and Brian McNamara (10 goals, 4 assists) – return, but gone are four-year starters Elliot Goodwin, Josh Armstrong and Tom Reilly as well as three-year starter Marty Owens. Those four players combined for 14 goals and 23 assists in 2016. In fact, outside of Williams and McNamara, the remainder of the returning Phoenix players combined for five goals and 10 assists.
Sondre Risa, an All-American as a freshman in 2015, along with goalkeeper Bennet Strutz, who collected 59 saves with a 1.42 goals-against-average last season, anchor the Cumberland defense. Strutz registered a 0.93 GAA with 73 saves and five shutouts as a freshman. Sophomore Patrick Hay and Tosin Abudiore each played valuable minutes on the backline in 2016 as well.
A host of freshman will see plenty of action all over the pitch, including Patrick Crowley (Ireland), Aidan Doherty (Birmingham, England), Bakary Bagayoko (Bronx, N.Y.) and Tyler Gilbert (Simi Valley, Calif.).
Campbellsville University received four first-place votes and 46 total points for first place in the poll, edging out Lindsey Wilson, who picked up the other four first-place votes and tallied 45 total points.
Cumberland ranked third with 35 points, followed by the University of the Cumberlands. Life University and Shawnee State tied for fifth and Georgetown College and the University of Pikeville rounded out the poll.
Cumberland opens the season with three straight home matches beginning August 24 at 3 p.m. against Christian Brothers at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
2017 Mid-South Conference Women's Soccer
Preseason Coaches' Poll
|No.||School (First-Place Votes)||Points||2016 Record/MSC|
|1.||Campbellsville University (4)||46||16-2-3/6-0-1|
|2.||Lindsey Wilson (4)||45||13-4-2/6-0-1|
|4.||University of the Cumberlands||31||6-11-3/3-3-1|
|8.||University of Pikeville||8||4-13-0/1-6-0|