Kevin Mendoza and Tresor Mbuyu were selected to the ASUN Preseason Men's All-Conference team.
Liberty senior midfielder Kevin Mendoza and forward Tresor Mbuyu were selected to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team and the Flames were picked to finish sixth in ASUN Preseason Poll this afternoon.
Liberty ventures into unfamiliar territory in 2018. The Flames have not played a current ASUN member on the pitch since 1999 (Jacksonville).
Defending ASUN Champion Lipscomb, 11-8-2 in 2017, was selected to repeat in 2018, garnering 42 points and four first place votes to squeeze past Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) for the top spot. FGCU received 41 points and one first place vote. Jacksonville and NJIT also each collected a first place vote.
In their 18th year under Head Coach Jeff Alder, the Flames come off a 10-6-1 campaign in 2017. Led by Mendoza and Mbuyu, Liberty averaged 1.65 goals per match last year.
Mendoza, has been named to the Big South All-Conference team each of his three seasons as a Flame. The team captain earned honorable mention honors in 2015, while being named to the first team in 2016 and 2017. The midfielder led Liberty with 10 goals, four assists and 24 points, last season.
Mbuyu has been a member of the Big South All-Conference first team in each of his two seasons at Liberty. Named the 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year after leading the conference in both goals (10) and total points (31) in 2016, he finished among the league leaders and second on the Flames in goals (9) and points (22) in 2017.
Liberty will travel to DeLand, Fla., for its first ASUN contest against Stetson on Sept. 13. The Hatters were the conference's regular season champions in 2017. The Flames will host their first ASUN match at Osborne Stadium on Sept. 29 against North Florida.
Liberty opens its 2018 campaign on Aug. 24 at Osborne Stadium against North Greenville. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The top six teams in the ASUN standings will advance to the 2018 ASUN Men's Soccer Championship. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be held at the home sites of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, Nov. 2 and 4. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will receive a bye and play the quarterfinal winners in the semifinals. The finals will be played on the home field of the highest remaining seed on Nov. 10. The conference champion receives an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament.
2018 ASUN Men's Soccer Preseason Poll 1. Lipscomb (4), 42 points 2. FGCU (1), 41 points 3. Jacksonville (1), 28 points 4. NJIT (1), 25 points 5. Stetson, 23 points 6. Liberty, 22 points 7. North Florida, 15 points Preseason Player of the Year: Logan Paynter, Lipscomb Preseason Defender of the Year: Preston Kilwien of FGCU Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year: Joseph Melong, Stetson; Patrick Harding, Jacksonville
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