Fordham Picked to Repeat as A-10 Champions in Preseason Poll

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The reigning A-10 Champions, the Fordham Rams have been selected as the preseason favorite for the 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference men’s soccer race. The league announced the annual Preseason Poll and Preseason All-Conference team Thursday ahead of the start of the season Friday.

 

Fordham tallied a total of 162 points and eight first-place votes to take the top spot in the poll, while Saint Louis, the 2016 A-10 Regular Season Champion, earned a total of 153 points to place second, also grabbing two first-place votes. VCU collected 147 votes and three first-place votes from the poll to finish third.

 

The Rams seek to claim their third A-10 title in four years heading into the 2017 season. They finished their 2016 campaign with 5-2-1 conference record and 10-7-4 overall. They are led by brothers and preseason All-Conference sections Janos and Jannik Loebe. Janos was the 2016 Offensive Player of the Year, leading the league in shots, and was tied for the lead in points in the 2016 season. Also joining the Loebes on the preseason All-Conference team is the 2016 Most Outstanding Performer from the championship, goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu and defensive backs, Matthew Lewis and Joergen Oland. The Rams have made nine overall championship appearances and looks to defend their title.

 

The Billikens, who finished atop the league in regular season play last year with a 6-2 A-10 record and 7-8-3 record overall, is out for revenge after being knocked out of the championship last year in the first round. Saint Louis is led by 2016 Coach of the Year Mike McGinty and brings nine newcomers to the roster this season. The Billikens are vying for their sixth regular-season title and third A-10 Championship crown.

 

Selected third is the 2016 runner-up, VCU. The Rams were 4-3-1 last year in A-10 play and 8-9-4 overall. They fell short in the championship final losing to Fordham in a shootout, 3-2, after a hard fought defensive battle. Luc Fatton and Rafael Andrade Santos, both seniors and preseason All-Conference selections hope to lead the Rams to their first A-10 title.

 

Dayton was picked to finish fourth with 122 points, followed by Rhode Island with 105 votes. George Washington was picked sixth with 94 points, and Duquesne was seventh with 90 points. Massachusetts, La Salle and Davidson round out the top ten, while George Mason, Saint Joseph’s and St. Bonaventure finish out the poll.

 

The 2017 A-10 men’s soccer season kicks off Friday. The top eight teams will compete in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Championship, with a new championship format. The opening rounds will be held on the campus of the higher seeds on Nov. 4 and 5. The top four teams will then advance to play at Baujan Field, on the campus of the University of Dayton, in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 10. The championship finale will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12 with the winner earning the A-10’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Preseason Poll

(First place votes in parenthesis)

  1. Fordham - 162 (8)
  2. Saint Louis - 153 (2)
  3. VCU - 147 (3)
  4. Dayton - 122
  5. Rhode Island - 105
  6. George Washington - 94
  7. Duquesne - 90
  8. Massachusetts - 72
  9. La Salle - 70
  10. Davidson - 57
  11. George Mason - 43
  12. Saint Joseph's - 35
  13. St. Bonaventure - 33

Preseason All-Conference Team

Forwards:

Luc Fatton, VCU

Janos Loebe, Fordham

Stavros Zarokstas, Rhode Island

 

Midfielders:

Jannik Loebe, Fordham

Dominik Richter, Rhode Island

Rafael Andrade Santos, VCU

 

Defenders:

Konrad Gorich, Massachusetts

Peder Krstiansen, Rhode Island

Matthew Lewis, Fordham

Joergen Oland, Fordham

 

Goalkeeper:

Rashid Nuhu, Fordham


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