HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team, fresh off its fourth consecutive Conference Carolinas championship, is picked second in the 2011 Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced league officials Thursday.
Limestone College is picked first with 94 points and six first-place votes, followed by Lees-McRae with 87 points and four first-place votes. Coker College is third with 72 points, followed by Erskine College with 69 points and one first-place vote, while Belmont Abbey College (67) rounds out the top five. Pfeiffer University (62) is sixth, followed by Queens University of Charlotte (49), King College (45), Barton College (27), Mount Olive College (18), and North Greenville University (15).
The Bobcats enter a new era this season, as former three-time All-American Lee Squires takes the helm after leading the program to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances as a player. Lees-McRae returns seven letter-winners from last year's squad, including seniors Luke Duffy (Wakefield, England), David Palmer (South Shields, England), Luke Staats (Almere, Netherlands), and Tyler Gibson (Gastonia, N.C.).
"Obviously it is nice to be recognized by the other teams in our conference and it shows the success we have had in recent times," said Squires. "However, each team improves year after year and it is such a competitive conference so it will be difficult, but our aim is always to be at the top at the end of the season."
The Bobcats posted a 13-5-3 record last season, including a 7-1-1 mark against league opponents en route to capturing the program's fourth consecutive conference crown. Lees-McRae is certain to feature several new faces on the pitch, welcoming 15 newcomers into the fold while returning seven players from last year's squad, including all-Conference Carolinas Second team selection James Galvani (High Wycombe, England).
Lees-McRae opens the 2011 season on Thursday, September 1, kicking off the Michael Shope Memorial Tournament against No. 19 University of Montevallo at 6 p.m. on Tate Field.
- LMC -
Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Rk.||School (First-place votes)||Points|