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Flames Tabbed to Finish Third in Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

August 13, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior defender Mike Gelatt and the Flames have been picked to finish third in the Big South Conference in 2007.

Senior defender Mike Gelatt and the Flames have been picked to finish third in the Big South Conference in 2007.

The Liberty University's men's soccer squad has been chosen third in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head men's soccer coaches and sports information directors. The panel also voted Winthrop senior forward Saidi Isaac the league's Preseason Player of the Year. Both selections were announced today by the Big South Conference office.

Liberty, which finished its season 9-6 in 2006, received 64 points in the voting, ranking third among the seven teams. The Flames won five-straight matches, before falling in overtime in the Big South semifinals last season.

Head coach Jeff Alder's team will have 13 letterwinners and seven starters back for the 2007 season. Last season's leading scorer, Adrian Bumbut (Sr., MF, Zaulau, Romania), returns for his final year with the Flames. Bumbut scored six goals and assisted on two others for 14 points during his junior campaign. Also returning is second-team All-Big South performer Joshua Boateng (Jr., MF, Accra, Ghana) and All-Freshman team member Juan Guzman (So., MF, Charlotte, N.C.).

2006 Big South champion Winthrop, which collected 13 first-place votes and 97 out of 98 possible points, is the preseason favorite to repeat. Coastal Carolina was selected second, garnering one first-place vote and 77 points. After the Flames in third, Radford collected 62 points for fourth. UNC Asheville (40), High Point (29) and VMI (23) rounded out the voting.

Issac was selected as the Big South Preseason Player of Year, after being named first on 13 out of 14 ballots. The Winthrop forward was the 2006 Big South Player of the Year.

The Flames open their 2007 season on Sept. 1 at the Liberty Soccer Field by hosting Mount Vernon Nazarene. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Big South Men's Soccer Championship is slated for Nov. 15-18 at Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C., on the campus of Winthrop University.

2007 Big South Conference Preseason Men's Soccer Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Winthrop (13) - 97 points
2. Coastal Carolina (1) - 77
3. Liberty - 64
4. Radford - 62
5. UNC Asheville - 40
6. High Point - 29
7. VMI - 23