CAA Press Release:
RICHMOND, Va. (August 11, 2014) – Delaware, which returns eight starters from last year's 14-5-1 team that earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, has been picked to capture the CAA men's soccer title in 2014 according to a vote of the league's men's soccer coaches.
The Blue Hens claimed the top spot in the poll after receiving four first-place votes and 58 total points. Defending CAA champion Drexel also got four first-place votes and finished second with 49 points. William & Mary was third in the voting with 44 points and CAA newcomer Elon, which won the last three Southern Conference titles, was right behind with 43 points. UNCW (39 points) was fifth in the balloting, followed by Northeastern (33 points), Hofstra (29 points), College of Charleston (17 points) and James Madison (12 points).
Delaware has eight starters, including its top four goal scorers, returning from a squad that set a program record for victories and made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Blue Hens, who ranked second in Division I in goals per game (2.25) last year, are led by sophomore Guillermo Delgado, who earned 2nd team All-America accolades after topping the league with 15 goals and 35 points. Also back are 2nd team All-CAA forward Roberto Gimenez (5g, 6a), CAA All-Rookie midfielder Jaime Martinez (5g, 6a) and junior midfielder Joe Dipre (5g, 2a). Delaware should also see be solid defensively as 1st team All-CAA goalkeeper Borja Barbero (1.24 GAA, 70 svs., 5 ShO) and 3rd team All-CAA defender Ignacio Martin are back.
Drexel welcomes back six starters from a 9-8-4 squad that captured its first CAA championship and earned its second straight NCAA Tournament berth in 2013. Among the returnees for the Dragons, who have won the past two CAA regular-season crowns, are 3rd team All-CAA midfielder Michele Pataia (1g, 4a) and 3rd team All-CAA defender Robert Liberatore (0g, 3a). Returning in goal for Drexel is sophomore Tyler Afflerbach (1.12 GAA, 66 svs., 6 ShO), who was a member of the All-CAA second team and CAA All-Rookie squad.
William & Mary has eight returning starters from an 11-5-3 team that received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Senior midfielder Marcus Luster, a first-team All-CAA pick, headlines the group along with 3rd team All-CAA honorees Chris Albiston (5g, 6a), Jackson Eskay (8g, 5a) and Josh West (6g, 1a). Back in goal is sophomore Mac Phillips (0.99 GAA, 65 svs.), who led the CAA with nine shutouts last season.
Elon returns six starters from last year's 15-5-3 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and finished the year ranked No. 22 nationally. The Phoenix have their top two scorers back with 1st team All-SoCon forward Jason Waterman (12g, 7a) and 2nd team All-SoCon midfielder James Brace (10g, 4a). Elon also has a pair of all-conference honorees back defensively with senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean (1.07 GAA, 71 svs., 6 ShO) and senior defender Austin Dunker (0g, 4a).
Traditionally regarded as one of the top men's soccer conferences in the nation, the CAA had three teams selected for the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 2012 and 2013, and four teams in 2011.
2014 CAA MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Delaware (4 first-place votes) 58
2. Drexel (4 first-place votes) 49
3. William & Mary 44
4. Elon 43
5. UNCW 39
6. Northeastern (1 first-place vote) 33
7. Hofstra 29
8. College of Charleston 17
9. James Madison 12
(Teams received 8 points for a first-place vote, 7 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)
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