Boston, Mass.—UMBC men's soccer was voted to finish sixth in the 2017 America East preseason coaches' poll, as announced on Tuesday. Preseason poll voting was conducted by the conference's eight head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
The America East Conference finished the 2016 season with the nation's third-best RPI, behind only the ACC and Big Ten.
Defending America East regular season champion UMass Lowell was picked to finish first, in their first year of eligibility for post-season competition. The River Hawks garnered 47 points with five first place votes. Defending tournament champions Albany finished second with 45 points and the remaining three first place votes. Stony Brook and New Hampshire finished third and fourth with 32 and 31 points respectively.
Hartford was just ahead of UMBC in fifth place with 22 points. The Retrievers garnered 18 points, just ahead of Vermont (15) and Binghamton (14) to round out the eight-team field.
A season ago, UMBC (5-9-3, 0-7-0 AE) did not compete in the America East Tournament for the first time since 2008. Nineteen of 22 letterwinners and eight of 11 starters return from the 2016 squad, which featured ten freshmen and only seven upperclassmen.
The Retrievers won four of five league titles from 2010-2014, capped by the run to the College Cup three seasons ago.
Head Coach Pete Caringi's 27th Retriever squad kicks off the 2017 campaign at home against Bryant on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The Retrievers open the America East slate against New Hampshire on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at Retriever Soccer Park.
2017 America East Preseason Poll
No. School Points (1st Place Votes)
1. UMass Lowell 47 (5)
2. Albany 45 (3)
3. Stony Brook 32
4. New Hampshire 31
5. Hartford 22
6. UMBC 18
7. Vermont 15
8. Binghamton 14