Senior Greg White
The defending Big South champion 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 88 points in being predicted to end the upcoming soccer season fourth place in the conference standings.
Liberty returns seven of its 11 starters and 14 players from last season's squad which captured the Big South title. The Flames finished the year with the program's fifth consecutive double-digit victory campaign, posting an 11-6-3 mark.
The Flames will look to replace five players who have gone on to play professionally, but return goalkeeper Scott Sutarik and defenders Sam Duininck, Greg White and Uriah Bentick, a two-time Big South first team and all-region team member. Last season, Liberty led the Big South Conference in fewest goals allowed (0.95 per game) and shutouts (9).
The panel unanimously selected Coastal Carolina to win the conference title. The Chanticleers collected all 11 first place votes and 121 points. Coastal Carolina senior forward Ashton Bennett was tabbed the league's Preseason Attacking Player of the Year and teammate Kjartan Sigurdsson, a sophomore defender, was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the panel.
High Point was tabbed to finish second with 99 points, followed by Campbell with 94. After the Flames, Gardner-Webb was selected fifth with 70 points in fifth. Radford (63), Winthrop (50), conference newcomer Longwood (48), UNC Asheville (39), Presbyterian College (25) and VMI (24) rounded out the poll.
The Flames open their 2012 season on Aug. 24 at Osborne Stadium against the N.C. State Wolfpack. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Big South Championship is scheduled for Tuesday-Sunday, Nov. 6, 9 and 11 with the quarterfinals at host sites and the semifinals and finals at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.
2012 Big South Conference Preseason Men's Soccer Poll
Team (first-place votes)
Coastal Carolina (11)
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