Men's Soccer Ranked No. 22 In 2013 College Soccer News Preseason Poll
July 24, 2013
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team has been ranked No. 22 in the 2013 College Soccer News Preseason Poll. The Musketeers are one of five BIG EAST squads ranked in the Top-30 along with No. 2 Georgetown, No. 4 Creighton, No. 8 Marquette and No. 21 St. John's.
XU will face five opponents ranked in the preseason poll in No. 2 Georgetown, No. 4 Creighton, No. 8 Marquette, No. 16 Northwestern and No. 21 St. John's. The Hoyas, Golden Eagles and Wildcats will all battle Xavier at the XU Soccer Complex this season.
"Being nationally recognized and respected never grows old and this is no different," said head coach Andy Fleming. "Oddly enough, it's based on where we ended last year, and that's the ranking that will matter most, the final one in December 2013. Having said that, this makes 26 straight weeks in the top 25 (in one or more national polls), which is a feather in our cap. What's most prominent is the company in the poll, especially three of the nation's top 10 teams and five of the top 25 on our schedule. This is BIG EAST soccer in a nutshell and shows both the demands and great opportunity our schedule presents. As a coach, a player or a fan this is exciting and I know that we are all eager to get going and continue to grow our program and showcase some of the nation's best college soccer teams on our campus this fall."
Xavier is coming off a banner season (14-3-5 overall), which included the program's first NCAA Tournament at-large bid, tourney victory and third-straight appearance into the 48-team field. Additionally, the Musketeers posted a program-record 14 victories and set new marks for assists and total points. XU's final loss of the season came against Indiana, the eventual 2012 national champion. Individually, Luke Spencer became program's the first MLS Draft Pick (23rd pick, Second Round; New England Revolution) and Nick Hagglund (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West HS) earned XU's first NSCAA All-American award.
Outscoring the opposition 31-8 with four shutouts, the Musketeers finished with a 9-0-1 record on their home pitch. Dating back to the 2011 season Xavier has gone 14-1-2 over their last 17 home contests and is currently riding a 13-match home unbeaten streak (11-0-2).
Finishing last season ranked No. 21 in the final College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll, the Blue and White landed four student-athletes on A-10 All-Conference teams, highlighted by three first team selections and the Defensive Player of the Year in Hagglund. In addition to an All-Conference first team nod and Defensive Player of the Year honor, Hagglund, recently named a 2013 College Soccer News first team Preseason All-American, was also a 2012 NSCAA All-America second team selection, a 2012 College Soccer News All-America third team honoree and was named to the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The Musketeers are set to return 17 players, including eight starters, from last season.
The 2013 season kicks off with a pair of exhibition matches. The first will be a home game against Belmont, which will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 18. The exhibition season will close on Aug. 23, as the Musketeers will travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana to take part in the Shindigz National Soccer Festival to play Loyola (IL). The home opener is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Sept. 7 against Big Ten foe Northwestern.
The Xavier Athletic Department, along with the men's and women's soccer programs, has recently launched the 2nd Annual Season Ticket Scarves campaign. For just $25, fans will receive an exclusive, limited edition Xavier Soccer scarf. The scarves will serve as admission to EVERY 2013 Xavier men's and women's soccer regular season home game. The 2013 Xavier Soccer Season Ticket Scarves can be purchased ONLINE. Scarves can also be purchased by mailing in the ORDER FORM or by calling the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at 513-745-3411 ext. 7.
Musketeer fans can follow Xavier men's soccer on Twitter @XavierSoccer.
Says College Soccer News About Xavier "22. Xavier - The Musketeers will seek to build on their school best fourteen win 2012 season that included the programs third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and first ever NCAA Tourney victory. However they must do it without forward Luke Spencer who has been the Musketeers go-to guy for the past three seasons. Matt Walker (11g, 10a), Will Walker (7g, 6a) and Gino De Paoli (6g, 9a) will power what looks to be a very productive Xavier midfield. Tanner Petrick and Garrett Halfhill are very solid defensive center mids. All-American center back>Nick Hagglund will anchor a backline that does require some rebuilding. Xavier moves from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East in 2013."
College Soccer News 2013 Preseason Top 30