Two-time team captain Sam Duininck
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team has been picked to finish sixth in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head men's soccer coaches.
The Flames received 73 points in being predicted to end the upcoming soccer season sixth place in the conference standings.
Liberty returns six of its 11 starters and 15 players from last season's squad which finished tied for third in the Big South regular season standings. The Flames posted a nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3) to close out the conference regular season with a 6-1-3 Big South record.
Head Coach Jeff Alder's team returns goalkeeper Scott Sutarik, two-time team captain and defender Sam Duininck and all-conference and 2012 leading scorer Kyle Breitmeyer from last season's 8-7-3 team.
The Flames open their 2013 season by traveling to Georgia State for a 4 p.m. match, this Friday. Liberty will host IUPUI in their home opener at Osborne Stadium on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
The panel selected No. 13-ranked Coastal Carolina to win the conference title in 2013. The Chanticleers collected eight first place votes and 116 points to claim the top spot in the poll. Coastal Carolina senior midfielder Pedro Riberio was tabbed the league's Preseason Attacking Player of the Year and teammate Uchenna Uzo, a junior defender, was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the panel.
Campbell was tabbed to finish second with 104 points. The Camels also garnered two first place votes. High Point selected to finish in third place with 87 points, just ahead of Radford with 86 points. Winthrop picked up the final first place vote and compiled 85 points in being tabbed for the fifth spot. After Liberty in sixth place, Gardner-Webb was voted seventh with 50 points, followed by Longwood (42), Presbyterian College (34), UNC Asheville (30) and VMI (19).
The Big South Men's Soccer Championship is scheduled for Tuesday-Sunday, Nov. 12, 15 and 17 with the quarterfinals at host sites and the semifinals and finals at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.
2013 Big South Conference Preseason Men's Soccer Poll
Team (1st-Place Votes)
Coastal Carolina (8)
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