AUGUSTA, GA – Young Harris College was selected as the Peach Belt Conference men's soccer preseason favorite in a poll of the league's head coaches released on Tuesday. The Mountain Lions received all seven first-place votes available to them for 49 total points, eight ahead of second-place Lander. North Georgia was third in the voting with Francis Marion fourth and Clayton State fifth. Flagler, USC Aiken and Georgia Southwestern rounded out the voting.
This is the fifth time that Young Harris has been either first or tied for first in the coaches preseason poll. YHC won the 2018 PBC regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Ranked #5 in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, Young Harris returns 11 players from last season's team that finished 17-1-1 including Seba Andreassen, Val Feeney, Dani Fischer and Alex Iglesias, all of whom were first-team All-Conference selections a year ago.
Lander reached the PBC Tournament championship game for the fourth year in a row in 2018 and defeated Young Harris in the NCAA regional final to advance to the NCAA National Quarterfinals. Ranked #5 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason Top 25, the Bearcats were 16-2-3 last season. Seven seniors return for 2019 along with All-Conference juniors Thibault Chretien and Kyle Ferguson. Also returning is sophomore All-Conference goalkeeper Jacob Withers.
North Georgia finished in the top three in the PBC standings for the third year in a row in 2018, finishing with a 7-6-2 record and 4-3 mark in conference play. The Nighthawks return six seniors for 2019 including All-Conference forward Eren Ozer. Also returning are seniors Evan Davis and Jordan Day, both of whom were named to the Preseason All-Conference team.
The coaches preseason poll is listed below. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own team.
2019 PBC Men's Soccer
Preseason Coaches Poll
|1.||Young Harris (7)||49|