WINTER PARK, Fla. (Men’s Soccer) – Rollins, the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Tournament Champions, edged reigning National Champion Lynn by one point to sit atop the SSC men’s soccer preseason poll, it was announced Wednesday.
The Tars collected 60 points and received four of the nine first-place votes in a preseason poll conducted among the conference head men’s soccer coaches. The Fighting Knights received 59 points and also collected four first-place votes.
The Buccaneers are tabbed seventh in the poll with 24 points after finishing 2012 with a 5-10-1 overall record. However, the Bucs did play some of their best soccer down the stretch picking up a pair of home wins over Florida Southern and Eckerd to finish the season.
Tampa, who collected 52 points to sit third in the preseason poll, received the final first-place vote.
Florida Tech (37 points) and Saint Leo (33 points) capped the top-five, while Eckerd (32 points), Barry (24 points), Nova Southeastern (19 points) and Florida Southern (8 points) rounded out the poll.
Rollins returns 10 of 11 starters and a total of 20 letter winners from last season, including SSC Freshman of the Year and All-American Walker Hume. Also returning for the Tars are All-SSC players Rob Crowley, Brett Durrance, Evan Greenbaum and Keneil Baker.
Lynn returns 10 letter winners, including All-Americans Jason Sangha and Jack Winter along with NCAA Division II National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player Anthony Desperito. But the Fighting Knights graduated 13 seniors, including eight starters.
Despite losing eight everyday starters, Lynn was ranked No. 1 in the recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll. Rollins was tabbed No. 8 and Tampa was ranked No. 20 in the same poll.
2013 Sunshine State Conference Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll
Rank – Team, Points (1st-place votes)
1 – Rollins, 60 (4)
2 – Lynn, 59 (4)
3 – Tampa, 52 (1)
4 – Florida Tech, 37
5 – Saint Leo, 33
6 – Eckerd, 32
7 – Barry, 24
8 – Nova Southeastern, 19
9 – Florida Southern, 8