ODU Picked To Finish Second In CAA

August 19, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 19, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. (August 19, 2009) - The Old Dominion University Soccer Monarchs have been picked to finish second in the CAA according to a vote of the league's 12 men's Soccer coaches. George Mason, which returns six starters from last season's 14-7-2 squad that captured its first CAA men's soccer title since 1989, was a unanimous pick to repeat as conference champion. ODU was 9-7-3 and tied for second in the CAA.

Old Dominion returns seven starters from last year's 9-7-3 squad. Leading the list of returnees for the Monarchs are junior forward Steffen Rabben (7g, 2a), who was the 2008 CAA Rookie of the Year, All-CAA midfielder Nane Joseph (2g, 2a), along with CAA All-Rookie selection, sophomore defender, Tommy Webb. ODU also will benefit from the return of junior goalkeeper Evan Newton, (Virginia Beach, Va.) who earned All-CAA and All-Region accolades in 2007 after posting a 0.63 GAA with 11 shutouts before missing last season due to an injury.

The Monarchs host Virginia in an exhibition match Monday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at the ODU Soccer Complex.

The Patriots claimed the top spot in the poll after receiving all 11 possible first-place votes and 121 total points, since coaches were not allowed to pick the finish of their own team. Old Dominion, which has competed in the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in five of the past six seasons, was second in the voting and William and Mary, which made its first NCAA appearance since 2002 a year ago, received one first-place vote and was picked third. Defending regular-season champion UNC Wilmington was chosen fourth, followed by Northeastern, Towson, VCU, Hofstra, James Madison, Drexel, Georgia State and Delaware.

George Mason finished the 2008 season ranked #19 in the nation by Soccer America after winning the CAA tournament title and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The Patriots, who are ranked #29 nationally by College Soccer News in its 2009 preseason poll, welcome back a pair of all-conference standouts in senior goalkeeper Sean Kelley (0.93 GAA, 78 svs., 10 ShO) and senior midfielder Richard Edgar (2g, 1a). The Patriots have also added a highly-touted recruiting class.

William and Mary welcomes back 10 starters and all but two lettermen from last year's 11-7-3 squad that reached the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The Tribe features four returning All-CAA performers in forwards Andrew Hoxie (10g, 5a) and Price Thomas (4g, 6a), midfielder Nathaniel Baako (6g, 6a) and defender Roger Bothe (1g, 4a).

UNC Wilmington has 10 starters back from its 10-9-1 team that won the CAA regular-season title for the first time. Among the returnees for the Seahawks are senior forward Devan Carroll (9g, 2a), who earned CAA Player of the Year honors in 2008, and junior Indy Smith (1g, 2a), who was chosen as the 2008 CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Traditionally regarded as one of the top men's soccer conferences in the nation, the CAA has sent multiple teams to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 12 of the 14 past seasons and has had at least one team advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA's in five of the last seven years.

2009 CAA MEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL 1. George Mason 121 2. Old Dominion 100 3. W&M 94 4. UNC Wilmington 86 5. Northeastern 75 6. Towson 68 7. VCU 67 8. Hofsra 60 9. James Madison 43 10.Drexel 39 11. Georgia State 22 12. Delaware 17

(Teams recieved 11 points for a first place vote, 10 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)