JEFFERSON, CITY, Tenn. – The South Atlantic Conference released its preseason poll and Carson-Newman men's soccer has been picked to finish sixth this season.
The Eagles received 47 votes in the poll after finishing the 2016 season with a 7-10 overall record, 3-8 in SAC play. They found themselves second to last in the conference standings just a spot above Newberry.
C-N returns two of its top-four goal scorers from last year in Tom Read and Thibault Mathorez. Read enters his senior season after a junior campaign that saw him scoring five goals with a team and conference-leading 12 assists. Mathorez will be moving to the midfield this season after an impressive showing last season as a defenseman. He tied for third-most goals on the team with three, including a game-winner in overtime against then-No. 7 Tusculum.
This season's Eagles squad consists of 12 returners and 13 newcomers to the roster. That group includes graduate transfers Twan Verweij at goalkeeper and Zimiso Stewart at forward, along with freshmen Joshua James and Gabe Martin, who both are coming from Gibbs High School in Knoxville, Tenn. as a midfielder and defender, respectively.
The Wingate Bulldogs have been picked to top the SAC once again after winning the SAC and National championships last season, finishing with a 19-1 overall record. The Bulldogs received 100 total votes with 10 first-place votes.
Coming in second with 86 total votes and one first-place vote is Tusculum. The Pioneers finished the season in second-place with an overall record of 16-4, 8-3 in SAC competitions.
Following close behind is Lenoir-Rhyne, who garnered 82 votes to be placed at third place.
Lincoln Memorial and Catawba landed at fourth and fifth place, respectively, with 76 and 58 votes.
Just below C-N on the poll is Mars Hill receiving 38 votes at seventh.
Queens received 37 votes in the poll for an eighth-place spot while Coker landed just behind at ninth with 36 votes.
Rounding out the poll was Anderson with 29 votes and Newberry with 12 in last place.