Defending NEC Champion Blue Devils Picked to Finish Second in Preseason Poll
Released today, the Northeast Conference Preseason coaches' poll picked Central Connecticut men's soccer to finish second. The defending NEC champion Blue Devils received three first place votes, but it is three-time defending regular season champion Monmouth that is tabbed as the team to beat in 2008.
Monmouth received five first place nods from the NEC coaches to earn the top spot in the poll. Quinnipiac and St. Francis (PA) received the remaining two first place votes, but were slotted in the fourth and fifth spots respectively. Sacred Heart edged both teams out in total points and earned third place in the poll. Robert Morris, Long Island, Fairleigh Dickinson, Mount St. Mary's and St. Francis (NY) rounded out the ten team poll.
In 2007 Central Connecticut men's soccer enjoyed arguably the best season in school history. After qualifying for the NEC Tournament as the four seed, the Blue Devils went on to beat number one seed Monmouth and number two seed St. Francis (PA) in 1-0 games. After being the first four seed to win the NEC Tournament, CCSU went on to the NCAA Tournament where it defeated Harvard, ranked 15 in the country, by a score of 3-2. In the second round the Blue Devils triumphed again as they defeated ninth ranked Tulsa 3-2. The glorious run came to an end in the Sweet 16 when UMass defeated Central 3-1. CCSU finished the season ranked 25th nationally.
Coach Shaun Green will attempt to regain the magic in 2008 with most of the key components returning to the pitch. Senior David Tyrie (Norwich-on-Norfolk, England/City of Norwich) has been an All-NEC selection for three years and was named NEC Defensive player of the year in 2007, as well as 2007 NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Fellow senior captain Yan Klukowski, also a three time All-NEC honoree, led the Northeast Conference in assists for the second year in a row in 2007.
CCSU will look to defend their NEC Championship when they open the season on the road, as they take on Holy Cross on September 2 at 7 p.m.