Eagles tie for third in SAC Preseason Poll

Eagles tie for third in SAC Preseason Poll

ROCK HILL, S.C. – In the South Atlantic Conference's annual preseason coaches' poll, the Carson-Newman men's soccer team has landed in a tie for third on the list released Monday morning.

The Eagles head into the new year following a 9-7-2 record in 2017 with a tie for second-place in the conference. The team made an appearance in the SAC Tournament which resulted with a loss to Queens in the quarterfinal, 3-2 in overtime.

This tie for third prediction marks the fourth time in five years that the Eagles have been slated to finish the year in the top five of the conference, 11th time since 2006. C-N compiled 86 total points in the poll.

Head coach Stephen Lyons' team returns 14 starters including two of the team's top goal scorers and the co-leaders in assists last season.

Junior forward Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norway) returns to the team this season after co-leading the team in goals scored last season with 11, five of those a team-high for game-winners. He was tabbed an All-SAC first teamer at the conclusion of his sophomore season.

Leading the way for the nine seniors on the team is Samuel Jenkins (Bicester, England) who was named first-team All-Conference for the first time in his career following the 2017 season. He was also lauded as a second-team player by the D2CCA following last year.

The lads in Orange and Blue led the conference in shutout percentage last year at .500, a number that was good enough for 15th in the nation. They recorded a staggering nine clean sheets on the season with eight coming in consecutive matches. Seven of those matches pieced together a winning streak for C-N, the longest line of wins since the 2015 squad won nine-straight. The lengthiest winning streak in program history still stands at 13, a number achieved by the 2005 group.

The Eagles were ranked as high as No. 21 in the nation in 2017. The last time they were nationally-ranked prior to that was 2015.

The eight-game scoreless streak for C-N's opposition marked the longest in program history, bypassing the previous mark of five games set by the 2005 and 2006 teams.

Wingate was selected to win the conference for a fourth-straight season after winning the regular season and tournament crowns. Head coach Gary Hamill was deemed the Coach of the Year in the league after last season while Mattia Ditommaso was Freshman of the Year.

After the SAC Tournament, the Bulldogs received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament where their season came to an end in the Southeast Region Semifinal at the hands of Lander. As the game headed into a penalty kick shootout tied at one, Lander made all five of its penalty kicks before the final Wingate shot was blocked, ending the season at 14-4-2.

The Bulldogs received nine first-place votes with 109 points. The next closest was Lenoir-Rhyne at second with 97 points and one first-place vote. They closed last season in a tie for second in the conference with C-N.

Tied with Carson-Newman in the preseason poll is Lincoln Memorial, receiving the remaining first-place vote. The Railsplitters finished fourth in the league last season and went on to play in the NCAA Tournament. Their season came to an end in the first round of the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Lander.

Queens was picked to finish fifth with 70 points, two spots higher than where the team finished in the league standings last year.

A total of six points separated spots six through eight on the list. Anderson brought in 57, Tusculum with 55 and Newberry got 51.

The final third of the preseason poll was rounded out by Coker at ninth with 40 points followed by Mars Hill at 10th-place with 36 and Catawba at 11th with 21.

The Eagles open the season on Sept. 1 with a road trip to Morrow, Ga. to take on Clayton State. That match is set to begin at 7 p.m.



School (first-place votes)



Wingate (9)



Lenoir-Rhyne (1)



Lincoln Memorial (1)





















Mars Hill






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