NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Defending Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Champion Saint Louis has been picked to repeat in the A-10’s 2013 Preseason Poll which is voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.
The Billikens received 11 of a possible 12 first-place votes and a total of 143 points to take the top spot. VCU picked up the remaining first-place nod and 133 points to place second in the poll. The league’s newest member George Mason was slotted third with 113 points, just one point ahead of Dayton which landed in fourth. La Salle was fifth with 89 points, while Fordham (84 pts.) and Duquesne (70 pts.) were tabbed sixth and seventh, respectively. Rhode Island (51 pts.), Massachusetts (50 pts.), George Washington (50 pts.), Saint Bonaventure (28 pts.) and Saint Joseph’s (15 pts.) round out the poll.
Saint Louis, which is ranked as high as #10 nationally in preseason polls, brings back all but one starter from last year’s club that posted 16 wins, captured its second A-10 Championship and the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Reigning A-10 Coach of the Year Mike McGinty returns four All-Atlantic 10 performers from a season ago, including First-Team forward Robert Kristo. A 2013 preseason All-America, Kristo garnered 27 points last season on 11 goals and five assists. For his efforts, Kristo was named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy. Joining Kristo are Second Team All A-10 midfielder Alex Sweetin and defenders Anthony Manning and Jon Roeckle.
VCU made an immediate impact during its first season in the league in 2012. The Rams posted 12 total wins, including a 6-1-2 mark in league play and advanced to the A-10 Championship match against SLU. VCU has joined Saint Louis in several preseason national polls and has a pair of all-league members back for 2013. Senior midfielder Romena Bowie is back in the mix after he was named to the Atlantic 10 First-Team last season and was named preseason All-America by College Soccer News in July.
George Mason arrives in the A-10 after posting 11 wins in 2012 while members of the Colonial Athletic Association. Mason returns junior forward Timi Mulgrew, who was named Second-Team all-conference last season following an eight goal, five assist, 21 point season for the Patriots. Third-Team midfielder Alex Herrera and defender Hugh Roberts return, while All-Rookie team pick Ryan Harmouche (3g, 3a) is back as well for Mason.
Dayton, which will host the A-10 Championship from Nov. 14-17, fashions nine seniors on its 2013 roster. Seniors Abe Keller (8g, 7a), Eddie Jones (6g, 7a), and Andres Acevedo (5g, 2a) are all back in a lineup that finished seventh in the nation in scoring last season.
2013 Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll|
Team (2012 Overall; Conference) Total Points (First Place Votes)
|Saint Louis (16-5-0; 7-2-0)||143 (11)|
|VCU (12-4-5; 6-1-2)||133 (1)|
|George Mason (11-6-2; 4-5-1 CAA)||113|
|Dayton (11-5-2; 5-3-1)||112|
|La Salle (10-7-3; 4-4-1)||89|
|Fordham (6-7-4; 2-4-3)||84|
|Duquesne (7-12-1; 4-4-1)||70|
|Rhode Island (4-11-3; 3-5-1)||51|
|Massachusetts (5-10-2; 2-7-0)||50|
|George Washington (5-13-0; 2-7-0)||48|
|St. Bonaventure (5-14-0; 3-6-0)||28|
|Saint Joseph’s (5-11-2; 1-6-2)||15|
2013 Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Team
F – Simon Gomez, Duquesne
F – Robert Kristo, Saint Louis
F – Emmett O’Connor, St. Bonaventure
M - Romena Bowie, VCU
M - David Graydon, Saint Louis
M - Alex Sweetin, Saint Louis
M - Jason Plumhoff, La Salle
D - Dennis Castillo, VCU
D - Anthony Manning Saint Louis
D - Juan Monge, VCU
GK - John McCarthy, La Salle
David Andre, Saint Louis, (GK; FR)
Dakota Barnathan, VCU, (DCM; FR)
Arnaud Cesarini, Duquesne, (MF; SO)
James Haupt, Dayton, (MF; FR)
Zach Herstek, George Mason, (MF; FR)
Andrew Hickey, Fordham, (D; FR)
Pablo Paz, VCU, (ACM; SO)
Joe Saad, Saint Louis, (MF/F; FR)