Banner Elk, NC--After starting the season 4-0, the Lees-McRae men's soccer team is gaining recognition in both regional and national polls this week. The Bobcats host #15 Clayton State Thursday evening at Tate Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America released its first poll this week, ranking the undefeated Bobcats as #19 in NCAA Division II. The Bobcats also placed third in the NSCAA Southeast Regional Poll, behind Clayton State and Conference Carolinas foe Limestone College.
"It's nice to be recognized, the boys have been working hard," commented Head Coach Chris Whalley (pictured top left). "However, we've said it before, and we'll say it again; the rankings mean nothing in September and October…we want to be playing into November. Our game against Clayton State will be a big one and should prepare us well for a gruelling Conference schedule that begins this weekend."
The Bobcats currently lead Conference Carolinas in goals scored, (25) and goals per game, (6.25). Defensively, the Bobcats also lead the conference in shutouts with two.
The game against the #15 Lakers will be the third straight year the teams have squared off against one another. The Bobcats are 2-0, beating the Lakers 1-0 at home in '05 and upsetting the then eighth team in the country 3-2 at Clayton State a year ago.
The national ranking marks the second consecutive year the
Bobcats have been recognized in the NSCAA National Poll. In 2006,
his second at the helm, Whalley guided the Bobcats to their highest
ranking in program history, thirteenth.