NJCU MEN’S SOCCER PICKED 10TH IN NJAC PRESEASON POLL
Thursday, August 11, 2011 (Men's Soccer)
NJCU MEN'S SOCCER PICKED 10TH IN NJAC PRESEASON POLL
PITMAN, NJ (NJCUGothicKnights.com)...The New Jersey City University men's soccer team has been selected to finish 10th in the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings this year, in a preseason poll of the league's 10 head coaches released on Thursday.
After placing 10th in the league each of the last two seasons, a talented group of newcomers, combined with veterans, such as senior WALTER AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic) and junior NANA KOFI KUSI (Jersey City, NJ/Kumasi Academy (Ghana)—both All-NJAC standout strikers last year—will seek to lift the Gothic Knights back to its past success. In 2007, NJCU won the NJAC regular season championship, despite being picked sixth in the preseason poll that year.
The poll has been conducted every year since 2001, other than the 2002 season. In 2001 and 2006—the other two seasons other than 2007 NJCU has reached the conference championship game—the Knights were ranked No. 4 in the preseason poll.
This year, there were wide opinions amongst the coaches as to which would be the top team in the poll, as five different schools received first-place votes. Montclair State University, winners of four of the last five NJAC titles, was projected to finish first this season and received three first-place votes. The College of New Jersey, which won the 2010 regular season crown, was picked second with four first-place votes.
William Paterson University, Kean University and Richard Stockton College, were ranked third, fourth and fifth, and each received one first-place vote. Kean became the first No. 6 seed in any NJAC Tournament to win a conference championship last year. Rutgers University-Camden, Rutgers-Newark, Rowan and NJCU round out the Top 10 in the poll. Newark was tabbed as the coaches' dark horse selection for the fourth time in five years.
Other than the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the poll has traditionally been a good indicator of NJCU's eventual place in the standings, finishing equivalent or within one place of their preseason ranking in all other seasons. In 2007, NJCU was ranked sixth in the preseason poll, yet finished first in the standings for the first time. In 2008, the Knights were picked No. 2 in the poll with three first-place votes, before finishing sixth.