CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Winner of three of the last four America East titles, the UMBC Retrievers have been unanimously picked as the 2014 favorite in the conference's men's soccer preseason coaches' poll, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. The voting was conducted by the conference's eight head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
The Retrievers, who are ranked 19th in the NSCAA national preseason poll, received all seven first-place votes for the maximum 49 points. Last year's runner up, Hartford, received the remaining first-place vote and 42 points to come in second. New Hampshire was third with 34 points, while Stony Brook was fourth with 28 points, followed closely by Albany in fifth with 27 points. Vermont (24 points), Binghamton (12) and UMass Lowell (8) rounded out the eight-team poll.
The 2014 regular season kicks off on Friday, Aug. 29 with all eight America East squads in action. The Retrievers open the season by welcoming Long Island University at 7:00 p.m. that evening in the first round of the Doubletree BWI Classic.
UMBC opens conference play on Saturday, Oct. 4 when they host UMass Lowell, while the six-team America East Championship begins with quarterfinal action on Nov. 8 and continues with the semifinal round on Nov. 12. The conference champion will be crowned on either Nov. 15 or 16 with the winner of the tournament receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, where America East teams have advanced to the second round in 10 of the last 13 seasons.
Fans can watch Retriever games in HD for free all season long at UMBCRetrievers.tv, a part of the America East digital network. The broadcasts are available on desktop and mobile devices.
2014 Men's Soccer Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)
1. UMBC (7), 49 pts.
2. Hartford (1), 42
3. New Hampshire, 34
4. Stony Brook, 28
5. Albany, 27
6. Vermont, 24
7. Binghamton, 12
8. UMass Lowell, 8