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College Soccer News 2016 Preseason National Poll

The 2016 college soccer season will be getting underway soon. It's challenging to predict at the begining of a season how teams will fare but you have to start somewhere. Sorting out the potential impact of departures due to graduation, transfers, and players leaving early to enter the professional ranks always makes pre-season rankings intriguing. College Soccer News' pre-season poll is based on a combination of factors including performance the past year, returning talent, returning experience, depth, the gaps that have to be filled, the ability of the newcomers to contribute, and intangibles like team leadership, heart, momentum, and toughness. One thing that you can count on is that there will be over acheivers and under achievers in 2016. Changes will be reflected in the weekly rankings and in the final season ending poll based on what happens on the field of play throghout the year.   



The Cardinal will be without franchise players forward Jordan Morris and defender Brandon Vincent among others who were at the heart of the best team in the country last year. Losing what they brought to the pitch no doubt stings. However, with the likes of center back Tomas Hilliard Arce, midfielders Corey Baird and Amir Bashti, forward Foster Langsdorf, and goalkeeper Andrew Epstein among others returning there is sufficient talent and experience on board to justify a number one ranking heading into the 2016 campaign for the defending national champions. Stanford is loaded with talent and experience, though a lot depends on how quickly they are able to make the necessary adjustments and gel as a team. Don't count the Cardinal out just yet. 



One player does not make a team but the decision of senior midfielder Adam Najem (10g, 11a) to return for his senior season likely gave the Zips the edge they needed to be among college soccer's elite once again in 2016. Senior midfielder Victor Souto (8g, 3a) and junior forwards Sam Gainford (8g, 7a) and Stuart Holthusen (8g, 6a) are among those who will power what may be the most formidable and multi-dimensional offense in the country in 2016. Senior center backs Brad Ruhaak and Danilo Radjen return to anchor the backline. 



It is wise to "Fear the Turtle" anytime the gaps that Sasho Cirovski has to plug are due to graduation and do not include early departures to enter the professional ranks. Sophomores Sebastian Elney (7g, 2a) and Eryk Williamson (6g, 5a) and transfer Gordon Wild will power what looks to be a very explosive Terp offense. Junior transfer Jake Rozhanzky is among the new additions who will help fill the void that exists due to the graduation of midfielders Mael Corboz and Tsubasa Endoh. The defense will be solid and experienced with senior backs Alex Crognale, Chris Odoi-Atsem, and Suli Dainkeh and redhirt netminder Cody Niedermeier all returning. An early season trip to Los Angeles to tangle with UCLA should be very interesting. 



Clemson will enter the 2016 season without the services of the 2012 recruting class that included forward T.J. Casner (10g, 4a), midfielder Paul Clowes (2g, 1a), defender Kyle Fisher (1g, 1a) and goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.  That group left a tremendous legacy that culminated in a 17-3-4 overall record and a run to the national championshiop game in 2015. Don't expect a drop off at Clemson in 2016. A talented core returns including seven starters. Mike Noonan has again brought on board a banner recruting class with the size and speed to make an impact. Forwards Austen Burnikel (7g, 2a) and Diego Campos (4g, 5a) and midfielders Oliver Shannon (5g, 4a), Michael Melvin (2g, 2a), Thales Moreno (5g, 4a), Saul Chinchilla (2g, 5a), Alex Happi (0g, 3a) and Grayson Raynor (0g, 1a) all return. Senior Aaron Jones (1g, 3a) and sophomore Patrick Bunk-Andersen (0g, 3a) return in the the back. The Tigers open with a brutal schedule that includes games at Riggs Field with Creighton and UNC followed by a road trip to Virginia. Opportunity knocks early.    


Wake Forest

Year one of the Bobby Muuss era in Winston Salem was a huge success. Despite losing midfielder Jack Harrison (8g, 11a) who was the number one pick in the MLS SuperDraft after a brilliant freshman season and forward Michael Gamble due to graduation, chances are pretty good that year two will be equally successful. Eight starters return from the 2015 team that was 17-3-2 overall and that advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. The Deacons also bring back several key reserves. Muuss has always been a great recruiter so it is no surprise that the Deacons are bringing on board one of the top recruiting classes in the country. The challenge now becomes effectively molding the newcomers in with returning players. Seniors Ian Harkes (1g, 4a) and Jacori Hayes (5g, 5a) are among the top midfielders in the country.  Junior Jon Bakero (8g, 6a) and senior Tane Gent (6g, 1a) add punch to the attack up-top. Senior Hunter Bandy and sophomore Sam Raben and redshirt junior netminder Alec Ferrell will anchor what should be a very solid defense. . 


North Carolina 

Yes, the Tar Heels have some voids to fill in the midfield and in the back but Carlos Somoano will welcome a top notch recruiting class to Chapel Hil that will address the areas of greatest need. UNC returns players who scored thirty-one of the thirty-nine goals they placed in the back of the net last year. Senior Tucker Hume (11g, 5a) and juniors Alan Winn (6g, 4a) and Zach Wright (5g, 5a) and redshirt freshman Nils Bruening are all very capable finishers. Transfer midfielder Drew Murphy is among the newcomers who should hit the ground running. The return of senior back Walker Hume is a big plus also. Redshirt sophomore James Pyle gives the Tar Heels an experienced and talented presence in goal.  



Some might say that this is an ambitious ranking for a program that loses six players to the MLS including three first round picks. Others might agree with the ranking based on Georgetown's constistent productivity under Brian Wiese over the past few seasons. No matter how you spin it, there are a lot of unanswered questions facing Wiese and he clearly will have his work cut out for him in 2016. Despite the departures, the cupboard is not bare and reinforcements are on the way via a very good recruiting class once again. When it is all said and done, don't expect too much of a drop-off at Georgetown. The Hoyas may not contend for the national championship but chances are pretty good that Wiese will mold the talents of his players into a unified team that will find a way to win a lot of games. Seniors Brett Campbell and Bakie Goodman and juniors Arun Basuljevic and Christopher Lema look to be the guys who are going to have to set the pace on the offensive side of the ball. Ditto that for sophomore netminder J.T. Marcinkowski who will need to come up big while the backline gells.  


Boston College

Nine starters are set to return from the 2015 team that advanced to the Elite Eight. The Eagles had a lot of underclassmen in key roles last year who now have the advantage of a year of starting experience. The attack will be paced by senior midfielder Zeiko Lewis (5g, 8a) and sophomore forwards Simon Enstrom (9g, 4a) and Trevor Davock (6g, 5a). Juniors Len Zeugner and Mohammed Moro and sophomore Abe Bibas will anchor the defense. The Eagles look to be talented, deep and experienced. If they build upon the success they enjoyed in the NCAA Tourney they will be a very tough team to face.  Consistency of play is a key success factor for the Eagles in 2016 which means they can't afford to look past anyone. If they can hold serve in the early going which includes their ACC opener at home with Duke, they will have the opportuity to establish that they are a force on the national scene when they travel to face ACC foes Syracuse and North Carolina.   



Despite all of the success that Creighton has enjoyed, the Bluejays will enter the 2016 season with a degree of uncertaintly. Regardless, history has taught us to never underestimate or overlook an Elmar Bolowich coached team. The departure of one of the top senior classes in the country from the 2015 team that was 19-4-0 overall combined with the decision of All-American forward Fabian Herbers to forgo his senior season to take his game to the professional level makes it tempting to discount Creighton in 2016. However, that would be a mistake. Sufficient talent remains supplemented by a recruiting class that should help fill the gaps to again make the Bluejays a very competitive team. Creighton may experience a learning curve in the early going but chances are pretty good that this is a team that is going to gel and grow stronger as the season progresses.  



Count Kevin Hudson among the first year head coaches last year who had a huge impact. Under his direction a relatively young SMU squad had a 15-3-4 overall record and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Five of the top six Mustang goal scorers led by junior playmaker Mauro Cichero (10g, 9a) return. Redshirt senior Brenden Lee (6g, 4a), senior Stanton Garcia (6g, 2a), junior Bryce Clark (1g, 4a) and sophomore Emil Cuello (3g, 4a) return to give the phonies what looks to be a vintage SMU midfield that can run with anyone. Juniors Jared Rice and Jordan Cano and redshirt junior Michael Nelson, the AAC Goalkeeper of the Year for the past two seasons, will anchor what should be a very tenacious defense. If they stay focused and take it one game at a time, the sky is the limit for the Mustangs in 2016. 




Yes, based on what they accomplished last year a good case could be made that the Orange deserve a higher preseason ranking. Syracuse is coming off an historic 2015 season during which they were 16-5-4 overall and advanced to the College Cup (Final Four) for the first time. It is difficult to get a handle on just how competitive the Orange will be in 2016. What we do know is that under Ian McIntyre, Syracuse has reached the point that they reload rather than rebuild. McIntyre did an excellent job of plugging the gaps last year. Whether or not he can be equally effective in doing that in 2016 remains to be seen. What is for sure is that the Orange defense will be very good in 2016 with seniors Liam Callahan and Louis Cross and sophomores Miles Robinson and Kamal Miller returning along with sophomore netminders Austin Aviza and Hendrix Hilpers. Senior forward Chris Nanco (4g, 3a) and senior midfielder Oyvind Alseth (3g, 5a) who have been starters for the past three seasons are proven commodities but goal scoring looks to be the X-factor at this point for the Orange and is an unanswered question heading into the 2016 season.    



The Redhawks will look a little different in 2016 without stalwart Shane Haworth in goal and forwards Hamza Haddadi (10g, 2a) and Michael Roberts (8g, 6a). It follows that the two biggest questions heading into the 2016 campaign are the level of play in goal and who other than junior All-American forward David Olsen (16g, 1a) will provide offensive firepower. If Pete Fewing can resolve those questions favorably, Seattle should have another banner season in 2016. The Redhawks will be a very competitive team but the reality is that they will need to prevail in their out of conference contests as they did in 2015 in order to maintain credibility on the national scene. They have the opportunity to make a statement when they open on the road with West Virginia and highly regarded Akron. Nine starters return including sophomore midfielders Sergio Rivas (3g, 5a) and junior Alex Roldan (2g, 3a). The backline returns intact anchored by senior All-American back Kyle Bjornethun (4g, 0a). 



No team in the country has any more talent on paper than the Bruins. The level of talent at UCLA is never an issue. The challenge that Jorge Salcedo faces every year is molding the individual talents of his players into a unified team. The Bruins under achieved by thier own standards last year with a 11-9-1 overall record that included a 5-4-1 mark in the Pac-12 Conference play and a short stay in the NCAA Touranment.  With the talent level on board, it is highly likely that the Bruins will rebound in 2016. Juniors Abu Danladi (6g, 10a) and Seyi Adekoya (12g, 1a) return up-top. Sophomores Jose Hernandez (11g, 4a) and Jackson Yueill (7g, 6a) return in the midfield along with senior Brian Iloski who missed most of the 2015 season due to injury. Senior Michael Amick and junior Chase Gasper are among those who return in the back along with goalkeeper Juan Cervantes. The Bruins open the season with a five game homestand that includes contests with Maryland, Duke and Akron. Those early contests provide the opportunity for the Bruins to rocket upward. 




Nine starters return from the 2015 team. The defense should be as good as any in the country with the entire backline of junior center back Grant Lillard (4g, 5a), seniors Billy McConnell (1g, 4a) and Derick Creviston and sophomore Andrew Gutman (1g, 1a) scheduled to return. Senior Colin Webb, who has been the starter for the past two seasons, returns between the pipes to anchor the defense. Senior attacking midfielder Tanner Thompson (3g, 4a) is among the top players in the country at his position and will be called upon to contribute to the attack. The unanswered question is whether or not a go-to goal scorer or two will have a breakout season and emerge to give the Hoosier attack the pop it needs to prevail against top-notch competition. Time will tell. 





The Pioneers under the direction of second year head coach Jamie Franks will have an experienced and deep roster with nineteen of the twenty-four players including nine starters back from the 2015 team that won a total of fifteen contests. The top four goal scorers return led by sophomore Andre Shinyashiki (5g, 2a) who will seek to build on a banner freshman season. The return of redshirt junior Eric Kronenberg who missed the 2015 season due to injury is an additional bonus for the attack. The midfield looks to be a strength with senior Sam Hamilton (2g, 0a), senior Karstein Hanlin (5g, 4a), senior Chandler Crosswait and junior Alex Underwood (3g, 3a) who were starters last year all returning. Redshirt senior All-American Reagan Dunk, senior center back Korte Ford and redshirt sophomore center back Scott Devoss return in the back.   


UC Santa Barbara


The Gauchos should win a lot of games in 2016 given the amount of explosive offensive talent on board led by senior All-American forward Nick DePuy, their experience, and the winning culture that Tim Vom Steeg has established. A solid necleus is present on both sides of the ball for a program that has secured ten or more wins for fifteen consecutive seasons and appeared in the NCAA Tourney thirteen out of the past fourteen campaigns. DePuy led the nation last year with fifteen goals including eight game-winners. Expect more of the same from him in 2016. Senior Josue Espana and junior Kevin Feucht are among returning midfielders who will again play key roles. Look for the play on the defensive side of the ball to be the X-Factor for the Gauchos in 2016. A very difficult on the road early season schedule may, repeat may, take an initial toll on UCSB's win-loss record but regardless it is highly likely that the Gauchos will get stronger as the season progresses. 


Notre Dame

Bobby Clark is as good as they get at identifying and developing talent and merging it into a unified team. As a result Notre Dame under Clark's direction has consistently been able to replace key personnel without taking a step back. Junior forwards Jon Gallagher (9g, 3a) and Jeffrey Farina (3g, 5a) are experienced goal scorers. Fifth-year senior Evan Panken (2g, 9a) and junior Blake Townes (0g, 3a) provide a solid foundation upon which to reload the midfield. The Irish will be without the services of Max Lachowecki in the back but a solid contingent returns led by fifth-year senior Michael Shipp (2g, 1a) and senior Brandon Aubrey (1g, 1a). Senior Chrs Hubbard returns in goal with the benefit of a year of starting experience.  


Ohio State 


Ohio State returns much of the core of players in 2016 from a team that won the Big Ten Championship in 2015 and lost to eventual national champion Stanford in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.  A recruiting class that has Leonardo Kossaka, Niall Logue and Andrew Lombard should help as all have international experience with youth national teams.  Goalkeeping will be the biggest question for the Buckeyes with the graduation of MLS draftee Chris Froschauer, no player on the roster has experience between the pipes, though former US U-18 national team keeper Parker Siegfried should be ready after red-shirting his freshman year.  Goals should come in plenty for the Buckeyes, as Danny Jensen, Christian Soldat, Abdi Mohamed and Yaw Amankwa return, add in former US U17 national team forward Nate Kohl who sat out last season and the Buckeyes should have enough depth going forward to challenge yet again this season.  Another difficult out of conference schedule early will make it important for the team to gel quickly.  


South Florida  


The Bulls return seven starers frrom the 2015 team that was 11-6-3 overall with a 5-1-2 mark in American Athletic Conference play. Seniors Nazeem Bartman (8g, 5a) and Melvin Becket (5g, 1a) return to power the attack up-top. Seniors Lindo Mfeka (3g, 4a), Marcus Epps (1g, 4a) and Graham Smith are among a solid nucleus of returning midfielders. Sophomore Prosper Figbe 11g, 0a) and senior Liam McNally (0g, 1a) are among returning backs. Senior Spasoje Stefanovic who had a 0.86 goals against average last year returns in goal. South Florida has earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament in eight out of the past nine seasons. George Kiefer will again field a team that will have enough talent and grit on both sides of the ball to be very competitive.  



The Cavaliers return eighteen letterwinners and seven starters from the 2015 team that was 10-5-3 oveall with a 4-2-2 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Key returning players include sophomore forward Edward Opoku (2g, 3a) and senior midfielder Nicko Corriveau (2g, 2a). The defense will be anchored by junior goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell and defenders Nate Odusote, Wesley Suggs,  Marcus Salandy-Defour and Patrick Foss.  It is also a plus that another banner recruiting class is on its way to Charlottesville.   


South Carolina  

Eight starters return from the 2015 squad that was 11-8-2 overall with a 6-2-0 mark in CUSA play. Seniors Danny Deakin (11g, 2a) and Kevin Walker (5g, 0a) return to power the offense up-top. Last year Deakin became the first South Carolina player to score ten goals since the 2008 season. He is clearly an impact player and the key to the Gamecock attack. Senior Kurtis Turner (0g, 1a) and senior Koty Millard (1g, 5a) return in the midfield and will likely set the pace for the entire team. The backline looks to be a team strength with senior Ive Burnett and sophomore center backs Torgeir Nyboe and Peyton Ericson set to return. Junior William Pyle and senior Marco Velez return in goal. Consistency is the key for the Gamecocks. Last year they were tough at home but strugged on the road.   



A relatively young Connecticut team last year improved as the season progressed to finish with a 10-6-5 overall record to claim the program's seventeenth berth in the NCAA Tournament in the past eighteen season. With almost everyone coming back and the advantage of a preseason trip to Italy under their belts, the chances are pretty good that UConn will be very good in 2016. Redshirt junior Scott Levene who had a 0.76 goals against average last year returns between the pipes along with center backs junior Elliott Ackroyd and sophomore Simen Olafsen and senior back Jake Nerwinski (1g, 5a). Sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam (11g, 0a) is a prime timer who now has the advantage of a year of starting experience under his belt. Senior Kwame Awuah (3g, 12a) who has been a starter for the past three seasons will direct the attack in the center of the park along with junior holding midfielder Cheikh Stephane Coly. Sophomore Mamadou Moustapha Samb (0g, 4a) and senior Sebastian Brems (1g, 2a) are among other returning linkmen. Keep an eye on the Huskies. If everything falls into place this group will win a lot of games in 2016.



The Wildcats return one of the top midfielders in the country in senior Napo Matsoso (4g, 6a). Senior forward Stefan Stojkovic (5g, 2a) also returns to add punch to the offense. Kentucky has been solid on the defensive side of the ball under Johan Cedergren but they have a big hole to plug due to the graduation of goalkeeper Callum Irving who finished his career as the Wildcat's all-time leader in shutouts (27). Senior center back Jordan Wilson will anchor the defense in 2016.  A very solid core returns from the 2015 team that was 12-5-2 overall with a 7-0-1 mark in CUSA play and earned a berth in the NCAA Touranment for the second year in a row. The bottom line is that all the pieces look to be in place for another successful season but the competition in CUSA is going to be very tough in 2016 which means there will be little margin for error.      



The 49ers have big shoes to fill on both sides of the ball due to the graduation of All-American forward Kyle Parker (12g, 3a) and goalkeeper Austin Pack among others but a solid necleus is slated to return for a program that has appeared in the NCAA Tourney for the past five seasons. Senior midfielder Brandt Bronico (8g, 10a), a starter since arrinving on campus as a freshman, will be the go-to guy on the offensive side of the ball. Junior forwards Harrison Steadman (3g, 3a) and Zhuvonte Wilson (1g, 0a) and senior midfielder Max Rodriguez (0g, 4a) are among those with the potential to add to the attack. Seniors Matej Dekovic and Luke Waechter and sophomore Callum Montgomery return to give Kevin Langan a solid foundation upon which to build the defense. Charlotte opens the 2016 season with games at home against Hofstra, UCF, Rutgers and nemesis Coastal Carolina,   



Scott Calabrese seems to always do a good job of getting his team to play beyond expectations. Last year FIU was 12-7-1 overall and returned to the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2004. The Panthers look to be a more talented and deep team in 2016 which bodes well for their ability to build on the success they had last year. The departure of midfielder Daniel Gonzalez (7g, 4a) who was an impact player during his tenure at FIU creates the biggest gap to plug. In order to successfully fill that void, senior forward Luis Betancur (9g, 0a) will likely have to carry a bigger load on the offensive side of the ball in 2016. Senior forward Jamar Campion-Hinds (2g, 9a), junior midfielder Brad Fountain (5g, 3a) and sophomore forward Santiago Patino (2g, 1a) are among others who should add balance to the attack. Senior Ismael Longo (0g, 3a) and juniors Donald Tomlinson and Darren Rios (4g, 1a) are among a talented group of midfielders. Senior Arthur Clapot retuns in goal along with a backline that will be anchored by senior Marvin Hezel (2g, 2a) and junior Paul Marie (3g, 7a). FIU takes to the road in the later part of September to tangle with Wake Forest and CUSA opponents Charlotte and New Mexico in a stretch that should measure the mettle of this team.   



Dan Donigan was not exaggerating when he indicated Rutgers' 2016 schedule may be the most difficult he has ever faced as a head coach. The Scarlet Knights open the season at home with contests against Creighton and Denver and then take to the road to face South Carolina, Charlotte, and MIchigan State before coming home to tangle with Maryland. Those early season contests provide the opportunity to rocket upward or conversely to drop out of the national rankings.  Junior Jason Wright (13g, 5a), the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, returns to power the attack up-top. Junior forward Miles Hackett (7g, 3a) and sophomores Brian Hawkins (2g, 3a) and Sugar Al Awwad should add another dimension to the attack. Senior Erik Sa (2g, 5a), junior Ahmad Faheem (1g, 1a) and sophomore Sheldon McKoy (1g, 1a) are among a solid contingent of returning linkmen. Senior David Greczek who has been the starter in goal for the past three years provide the Scarlet Knight with an extremely capable presence between the pipes. Juniors Niel Guzman and Brandon Tetro and senior Tyler Morris are among returning backs.    



Eight starters return from the 2015 team that was 12-6-1 overall and won the Ivy League title with a 6-1-0 mark in conference play. Sophomore forward Eduvie Ikoba (4g, 3a) and sophomore midfielder Amadu Kunateh (4g, 2a) return to lead the offense. Both now have a year of starting experience on their resumes and will presumably be better. Last year the Big Green only allowed a total of thirteen goals. In spite of the graduation of goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland, the 2015 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, defense should continue to be Dartmouth's storng suit and trademark again in 2016. Juniors Wyatt Omsberg and Tyler Dowse and senior Ricardo Gomez return to anchor what looks to be another very solid backline. Senior Emmanuel Arteaga, juniors Matt Danilack (3g, 1a) and Matt Greet (1g, 5a) and sophomore Justin Donawa (2g, 3) are among a solid group of returning midfielders. There are no obvious weaknesses and plenty of strengths so expect the Big Green to challenge for supremacy in the Ancient Eight once again in 2016.   


Utah Valley 

Everyone overlooked Utah Valley last year. After all, it was just the second year of competitive play for the program. However, after a fourteen win season and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, the Wolverines deserve a little recognition heading into the 2016 campaign. Coach Greg Maas returns just about everyone including ten starters supplemented by a very impressive recruiting class. The only hole in the lineup is in goal, and Maas appears to have addressed that. What looks to be a very balanced attack will be led by up-top by senior Skyler Milne (9g, 2a) and juniors Austin Buxton (6g, 2a) and Karson Payton (4g, 4a). Sophomore Aaron Meyer (4g, 12a) and junior Paul Hoffmeister (6g, 3a) are among a very talented group of retuning midfielders. Senior Alex Neff, juniors Giovanny Vazquez and Chandler Baddley and sophomores Marshall Miller and Blake Leonetti are among returning defenders. With so much talent on board, this group is well positioned for another productive season. The Wolverines will be tested early when they open the season at home with Washington out of the Pac-12.  


Coastal  Carolina 

Could the 2016 season be the end of the Chaticleers string of six consecutive NCAA Tournament berths? The 2016 season looks to be a year of transition for Coastal Carolina in many ways. For starters, they move from the Big South Conference to the Sun Belt Conference. Shaun Docking always fields a very competitive team but no matter how you spin it the Chanticleers enter the 2016 season with more than the usual number of key gaps to plug on both sides of the ball and the challenge that comes with another brutal non-conference schedule. Docking has sought to plug the gaps by bringing on board a recruiting class that includes experienced transfers. His ability to effectively merge the newcomers in with returning players will have a huge impact on the level of success Coastal Carolina has in 2016. Key returning midfielders include juniors Louis Dargent (3g, 1a) and Martin Melchor (2g, 2a) and sophomores Jair Espinoza (3g, 1a) and Ryan Willoughby (0g, 2a). Returning defenders include seniors Einar Einarsson (1g, 1a) and Ryan Reid and juniors Elis Bjornsson (0g, 2a) and Miguel Gutierrez (2g, 3a). Coastal Carolina's dance card includes non-conference games on the road with Virginia, Charlotte and UCLA and matches at home with VCU, Charlotte, and Clemson. 



Mid major Conference members tend to get overlooked at times in the national rankings. The margin for error when it comes to losses for Monmouth or any mid-major school for that matter is slight when it comes to standing on the national scene. Nonetheless, the Hawks have the potential to be a very competitive side in 2016. Rob McCourt has gaps to plug due to the loss of center back David Acunam Camacho (3g,6a), back Derek Luke (1g, 6a) and midfielder John Eagen (5g, 5a) but he also has plenty of talent to work with on both sides of the ball. Senior Eric Klenofsky, who will enter the 2016 season with a total of twenty-eight career shutouts under his belt and three years of starting experience, will anchor what should again be a stingy Monmouth defense. Senior midfielders Colin Stripling (6g, 5a) and Miguel Alves (5g, 1a) and highly regarded sophomore Anderson Asiedu (2g, 4a) look to be capable of holding their own with anyone. Senior Dave Nigro (5g, 3a) will add another element to the attack up-top. The Hawks have the opportunity to pick up a signature win right out of the gate when they host Denver in their season opener.   

Others Receiving Votes: Hofstra, Drake, Dayton, California, Xavier, Cal State Fullerton, LIU Brooklyn, Butler, Tulsa, FGCU, Boston Univeristy, Santa Clara, Oakland, Washington, VCU, Radford, Furman  

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