The Greensboro College men’s soccer team picked up 68 points and one first place vote to finish second out of ten teams in the USA South preseason coaches poll released on Wednesday. Defending conference champion Methodist was tabbed as the preseason favorite, receiving 80 points and eight first place votes.
The Pride posted an 11-5-4 mark in 2012 and advanced to the USA South Tournament Championship game. Nine players who started at least 13 games a year ago return as Greensboro looks to take care of unfinished business.
Headlining the returners is All-Conference and All-Region goalkeeper Manbi Nyepon. Nyepon made an immediate impact in his first year with the program, leading the USA South in save percentage (0.874, goals against average (0.77) and goals against (14).
Leading scorer and Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Morgan Stevenson is back after posting seven goals and two assists as a freshman. Fellow goal scorers and Second Team All-Conference honorees Earl Floyd and Craig also return. Floyd finished the year with five goals and three assists, while Gage contributed five goals and one assist.
Drew Clukey also provides offensive firepower, scoring four goals and adding four assists. George Dimopoulos will be relied to lead the midfield, with Whit Maupin, Jason Curfman and Isaiah Nji anchoring the defense.
The 2013 season marks the first year for new USA South members Covenant College and Huntingdon College. Both institutions are former members of the Great South Athletic Conference.
The Pride will open the 2013 slate at home on August 30 against cross-town rival Guilford in a 5 p.m. showdown on Pride Field.
2013 USA South Men’s Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts. 1. Methodist (8) 80 2. Greensboro (1) 68 3. N.C. Wesleyan 66 4. Averett (1) 59 5. Covenant 44 6. Maryville 39 7. Ferrum 37 8. Piedmont 27 9. Huntingdon 20 10. LaGrange 10