N.C. Wesleyan, Maryville Picked as USA South Men's Soccer Favorites

N.C. Wesleyan, Maryville Picked as USA South Men's Soccer Favorites

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) – The USA South Athletic Conference's men's soccer coaches have released their 2017 preseason polls. Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within that particular division-only. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. This is the first season that the Conference will split into divisions in the sport of men's soccer as the Conference welcomes new League members Berea College, Brevard College and Pfeiffer University. Brevard and Pfeiffer will not be included in the polls as they are each reclassifying from Division II and are not eligible championship honors this season. 

Chosen as USA South East Division favorites was N.C. Wesleyan College, led by seven-year head coach Frankie Taal. The Battling Bishops earned a share of last year's Conference regular season title, the seventh in program history. As the second-seeded team in the USA South Tournament, N.C. Wesleyan fell in the championship game and finished with a 14-6 overall record. The Bishops received 25 total points and five first place votes in this year's preseason poll. Placing second with 21 points and the final first place vote was Greensboro College. Averett University and Methodist University tied for third with 15 points apiece while William Peace University (eight points) and Ferrum College (six points) rounded out the poll.

Placing atop the USA South West Division poll was Maryville College, led by head coach Pepe Fernandez in his 29th season. Last fall, the Scots grabbed a share of the program's first USA South regular season title before capturing the League tournament crown for the first time. Maryville advanced to the NCAA Tournament but fell in the opening round to conclude 2016 with an 18-3 record. The Scots received 25 total points and five first place votes in this year's preseason poll. Covenant College grabbed 20 points and the final remaining first place vote to rank second. Placing third in the poll with 18 points was Piedmont College while Berea and Huntingdon College followed in a tie for fourth with ten points each. LaGrange College rounded out the poll with seven points.

The men's soccer regular season gets underway on Friday, September 1 as 11 teams take on non-League opposition.

The 2017 USA South Men's Soccer Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-four seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.

 

2017 USA South Men's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
East Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. N.C. Wesleyan (5) 25
2. Greensboro (1) 21
t-3. Averett 15
t-3. Methodist 15
5. William Peace 8
6. Ferrum 6
--- *Pfeiffer -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
2017 USA South Men's Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
West Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Maryville (5) 25
2. Covenant (1) 20
3. Piedmont 18
t-4. Berea 10
t-4. Huntingdon 10
6. LaGrange 7
--- *Brevard -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)