TAMPA, Fla. (August 6, 2019) – The Johnson & Wales men's soccer team has been selected fifth in the 2019 Sun Conference Preseason Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.
The Wildcats return 15 letterwinners from a 2018 campaign in which the team finished 9-6-1 (5-4-0 TSC), earning the No. 6 seed in the Sun Conference Men's Soccer Championships.
Led by freshman Fernando Arzeno (Second-Team All-TSC), senior Valentin Salinas (Second-Team All-TSC) and senior Patricio Rolon (First-Team All-TSC), the Wildcats made program history in 2018, defeating St. Thomas in the TSC Quarterfinals, 3-2, advancing the semis for the first time. Last year, Arzeno set the school's single-season record for points (25) and goals (12) while becoming the first JWU player to reach double-digits in goals since the 2013 season (Pedro Codo -11; Victor Codo – 11).
Southeastern, who finished last season with a 12-4-2 record after falling 4-0 to Georgia Gwinnett in the NAIA Opening Round matchup, is seeking its third national tournament appearance in the last five seasons. The Fire placed second in The Sun's regular-season standings a year ago (7-2), trailing only Thomas University. Southeastern avenged an early-season loss to Thomas by defeating the Night Hawks, 1-0, in the conference tournament championship match in Thomasville. Ga., in November.
Southeastern received six first-place votes and 74 total points in the balloting. Thomas received three first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team) and placed second in the poll with 72 total points. Keiser (65), St. Thomas (57) and Johnson & Wales (50) rounded out the top five.
Warner (39), Ave Maria (33), Savannah College of Art & Design (25), Florida Memorial (19) and Webber International (16) completed the preseason rankings. Ave Maria secured the 10thand final first-place selection.
2019 Sun Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll (first-place votes)
|1.||Southeastern 74 (6)|
|2.||Thomas 72 (3)|
|4.||St. Thomas 57|
|5.||Johnson & Wales (Fla.) 50|
|7.||Ave Maria 33 (1)|
|8.||SCAD Savannah 25|
|9.||Florida Memorial 19|
|10.||Webber International 16|