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Flames Men's Soccer Picked Fourth

August 19, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero finished 2008 with the lowest goals-against-average in the Big South at 0.68.  He and the Flames were picked to finish fourth in the conference standings this season

Liberty goalkeeper Andrew Madero finished 2008 with the lowest goals-against-average in the Big South at 0.68. He and the Flames were picked to finish fourth in the conference standings this season

The Liberty Flames men's soccer squad has been chosen to finish fourth in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head men's soccer coaches. The Flames received 61 points, only 10 points behind defending conference champion and preseason favorite Winthrop.

The panel also selected Winthrop senior midfielder Stephen Nsereko, the league's Preseason Player of the Year. Both the preseason poll and the Preseason Player of the Year selections were announced today by the Big South Conference office.

Liberty finished its 2008 season with a 10-5-3 record and a 4-3 conference mark. Head coach Jeff Alder's team return 20 players from last season's team.

Winthrop was tabbed the conference favorite by four votes, collecting five first-place votes and 71 points. Coastal Carolina was picked to finish second, garnering two first-place votes and 67 points. High Point collected two first-place votes and 63 points for third, followed by the Flames in the fourth spot.

Gardner-Webb and Radford tied for fifth in the poll with 38.5 points, while UNC Asheville was selected seventh with 32. VMI (21) and Presbyterian (14) rounded out the voting. Contests against Presbyterian will count in the regular-season standings this year, but the Blue Hose are not eligible for the 2009 Big South Championship.

The Flames open their 2009 season Sept. 1 at Osborne Stadium by hosting the Concord Mountain Lions. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Big South Men's Soccer Championship is slated for Nov. 12-15 on the campus of High Point University.