League Coaches Pick ODU As Favorite For CAA Crown
Aug. 3, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. (August 3, 2006) - Old Dominion, which returns eight starters from last season's 15-4-2 squad that reached the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship for the fourth consecutive year, has been picked to capture the CAA men's soccer title in 2006 according to a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.
The Monarchs received eight first-place votes and 117 total points to earn the top spot in the poll. Hofstra, which has won the past two CAA championships, received two first-place votes and was picked second with 109 points. James Madison, which has nine starters back from its 2005 NCAA Tournament squad, got one first-place vote and was third with 97 points, while VCU also received a first-place vote and was fourth with 93 points. UNC Wilmington was picked fifth in the poll, followed by George Mason, Towson, William & Mary, Northeastern, Georgia State, Drexel and Delaware.
ODU finished atop the CAA regular-season standings last season with a 9-1-1 mark, but fell in the conference tournament title game for the second year in a row. The Monarchs, who were ranked #7 by Soccer America in their final 2005 poll, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row. Back to lead ODU are 1st team All-CAA senior midfielder Edson Elcock (6g, 2a), 2nd team All-CAA junior defender David Horst, and sophomore midfielder Trevor Banks (6g, 3a), the 2005 CAA Rookie of the Year.
ODU hosts American in an exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m., then travels to Virginia Tech for a Aug. 19th exhibition. The regular season begins on Friday, Aug 25th when ODU hosts defending National Champion Maryland at 6:30 p.m.
Hofstra welcomes back seven starters from last season's 14-5-3 team that won its second straight CAA title with a dramatic 1-0 triumph over ODU. The Pride features four returning all-conference selections in senior forward Michael Todd (12g, 5a), junior midfielder Constantinos Christoudias (8g, 9a), junior midfielder Chris Cox (6g, 3a) and senior back Gary Flood, who was also the MVP of the CAA Tournament.
JMU posted a 12-7-2 overall record and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001. Among the Dukes' nine returning starters are two-time 1st team All-CAA senior midfielder Kurt Morsink (9g, 6a), 2nd team All-CAA senior defender Mike Tuddenham (3g, 5a) and two-time all-conference senior midfielder Mark Totten.
VCU slipped to 6-10-4 overall and 4-3-4 in the CAA in 2005, ending a streak of three straight first-place finishes in the league standings. The Rams bring back four starters, including junior forward Pat Viray (6g), 2nd team All-CAA junior midfielder Matthijs Maruanaya (2g, 2a) and sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra (1.04 GAA, 54 svs., 5 shutouts).
The CAA has traditionally been one of the top men's soccer conferences in the nation. The conference has placed three teams in the NCAA Tournament field six times in the past decade.
2006 CAA MEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
1. Old Dominion (8 first-place votes) 117 2. Hofstra (2 first-place 109 3. James Madison (1 first-place vote) 97 4. VCU (1 first-place vote) 93 5. UNC Wilmington 78 6. George Mason 72 7. Towson 59 8. William & Mary 58 9. Northeastern 42 10. Georgia State 27 11. Drexel 22 12. Delaware 18
(Teams received 11 points for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)