Xavier Men's Soccer Selected Fifth in Preseason Coaches' Poll
Aug 13, 2013
CINCINNATI - The No. 22 Xavier men's soccer team, led by Preseason All-BIG EAST selections Nick Hagglund (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West HS) and Matt Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia HS), was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches' poll released on Tuesday evening by the league office.
In a vote conducted by the conference's 10 head coaches, the Musketeers received 49 points to finish 10 points behind St. John's. Two teams received first place votes with the Hoyas (seven first place votes) occupying the top spot followed by the Bluejays (three first place votes.). Six BIG EAST squads finished with double-digit wins in 2012, led by GU's 19.
The Musketeers were one of six schools to place multiple players on the preseason All-Conference team. Hagglund and Walker represented XU on the 14-member squad.
Hagglund, a 2013 College Soccer News Preseason All-America first team honoree, shined in 2012 as he earned 2012 Atlantic 10 Defender of the Year honors. The defender earned XU's first NSCAA All-American award (Second Team) last season and helped lead the Musketeers to their best season in program history. He started all 22 matches for the Blue and White and registered two goals and four assists as Xavier finished the season with a 14-3-5 record, which included the program's first NCAA Tournament at-large bid, tourney victory and third-straight appearance into the 48-team field. The Cincinnati native has been a fixture for Xavier over the past three seasons. He's amassed 61 starts, 5,512 minutes played, four goals and eight assists. The Blue & White have recorded 20 shutouts with Hagglund as a member of the backline.
Walker picked up his first conference award (A-10) after posting career-highs with 11 goals and 10 assists during the 2012 campaign. The midfielder from Batavia, Ohio came on strong down the stretch scoring five goals in the final four regular season A-10 matches. He finished fourth in points and tied for third in assists in the league, while scoring five goals and handing out four assists during conference play. The senior enters the 2013 season with 17 career goals and 17 career assists. Xavier's returning 17 players, including eight starters from last season, along with nine newcomers officially start the 2013 season on Wednesday, August 14 with a training session. The Blue and White's 2013 slate features matchups against six 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including two that advanced to the Final Four. The Musketeers kick off the 2013 season 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).