Big South All-Conference first team defender Tim Harbison
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team has been picked to finish fifth in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head men's soccer coaches.
Head Coach Jeff Alder's team received 56 points in being predicted by the panel to end the upcoming soccer season in fifth place in the conference standings.
Led by senior first team All-Big South defender Tim Harbison and senior All-Conference player Sachem Wilson, Liberty welcomes back 13 players who saw significant playing time from last season's 11-6-1 team.
Now in his 15th year leading his alma mater, Alder will also see the return of seniors Tyler Bullock, Conner Fleming, Khalil Karl, Jamie Foxwell Blessing Tahuona and Glodi Kanga, along with Alan Arellano, Will Coleman, Bay Kurtz, Jovanni Chavez and Brady Mazzei.
Liberty, which began practice for the upcoming season yesterday, opens their 2015 season on August 28 at Osborne Stadium. The Flames will host Bluefield at 7 p.m. Liberty will begin Big South play on Sept. 26 at home against the Winthrop Eagles.
The league's coaches selected defending champion Coastal Carolina to win the conference title in 2015. Ranked No. 21 nationally in the NSCAA preseason poll, the Chanticleers collected eight first place votes and 97 points in being tabbed the preseason favorite. Winthrop came in second in the poll with 81 points. High Point received one first place vote and 77 votes. Radford was selected fourth with the final first place vote and 75 points.
Liberty was followed by Campbell (50 points), Longwood (37 points), Gardner-Webb (33 points), UNC Asheville (28 points) and Presbyterian (16 points).
Winthrop forward Max Hasenstab was named Preseason Attacking Player of the Year, while Coastal Carolina's Tommy Gudmundson and High Point's Austin Yearwood was selected the Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
The Big South Men's Soccer Championship is scheduled for Tuesday-Sunday, Nov. 10, 13 and 15 with the quarterfinals at host sites and the semifinals and finals at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.
2015 Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Poll 1. Coastal Carolina (8) – 97 2. Winthrop – 81 3. High Point (1) – 77 4. Radford (1) – 75 5. Liberty – 56 6. Campbell – 50 7. Longwood – 37 8. Gardner-Webb – 33 9. UNC Asheville – 28 10. Presbyterian - 16
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