ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman Eagles, under first-year head coach Richard Moodie, are picked to finish fourth in the 2011 South Atlantic Conference men's soccer race, according to a vote of the league coaches, released on Thursday.
Carson-Newman has won or shared seven of the last eight SAC regular season titles. Last season, the Eagles were 8-1 in league play and tied Wingate University for the SAC title.
Defending South Atlantic Conference regular season co-champion Wingate is a favorite to win the league's men's soccer title again in 2011.
Wingate, which earned an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament, finished ahead of No. 2 Anderson by a single point in the poll, but edged the Trojans 6-2 in first-place votes.
Anderson will open the season ranked 17th in the NSCAA national poll – the only SAC school to appear in the preseason top 25. The Trojans won the Food Lion SAC Tournament last season and advanced to the NCAA Championship Southeast Regional Final.
Lincoln Memorial is third in the poll – including one first-place vote, followed by Carson-Newman and Mars Hill. The Lions also received a first-place vote in the poll.
Rounding out the poll is Lenoir-Rhyne at No. 6, then Tusculum, Catawba, Newberry and Brevard.
Also announced on Thursday was the men's soccer preseason All-Conference team.
Anderson leads the way with a league-high four student-athletes on the first team, including reigning SAC Player of the Year and Daktronics All-American Lasse Sohrweide. The Trojans also placed one player on the second team.
Mars Hill has three players on the first team and two on the second team, while Carson-Newman and Wingate each have four preseason all-conference selections.
Catawba, Lincoln Memorial and Lenoir-Rhyne each have two All-SAC selections.
2011 SAC men's soccer action gets underway on Sept. 1.
2011 SAC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team - Points (1st-Place)
1. Wingate - 93 (6)
2. Anderson - 92 (2)
3. Lincoln Memorial - 76 (1)
4. Carson-Newman - 63
5. Mars Hill - 60 (1)
6. Lenoir-Rhyne - 52
7. Tusculum - 43
8. Catawba - 34
9. Newberry - 19
10. Brevard - 18