Coastal Carolina picked as favorite for the 2016 men’s soccer se - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Coastal Carolina picked as favorite for the 2016 men’s soccer season

(Source: Sun Belt Conference) (Source: Sun Belt Conference)

NEW ORLEANS – Coastal Carolina enters the 2016 season as the favorite to claim the Sun Belt Conference men’s soccer title as it earned the top spot in the preseason poll released on Tuesday morning.

The Chanticleers, ranked No. 21 in the NSCAA Preseason Top 25, earned five first-place votes in the coaches poll and 35 points overall. Coastal Carolina will be playing its first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2016. The Chants edged back-to-back Sun Belt champion Hartwick for the top spot as the Hawks received one first-place vote and tallied 31 points total.

Georgia State (23 points), Georgia Southern (17), Appalachian State (14) and Howard (6) rounded out the preseason poll.

The individual awards honored two Hartwick student-athletes and a newcomer to Coastal Carolina and the Sun Belt. Hawks’ senior midfielder Jamie O’Grady, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year, earned Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors with CCU forward Frantzdy Pierrot, a junior transfer that will join the team for the fall season. Pierrot has 10 career goals and seven assists for 27 career points.

Hartwick senior defender Kit Tregear earned the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor after he took home the postseason award last year. Tregear was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2014 tournament.

Coastal Carolina and Hartwick led the way with four preseason all-conference honorees each, followed by Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Georgia State with one honoree each.

The 2016 season begins this Friday, Aug. 26 with all six Sun Belt teams in action. The 2016 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship tournament is scheduled for Nov. 10-13 and will be hosted by Georgia State University at the GSU Soccer Complex in Atlanta, Ga. The championship match will take place on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 1 p.m. ET and will be available for viewing on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. All quarterfinal and semifinal matches of the tournament will be streamed live on the Sun Belt Digital Network.

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2016 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
Stephen Chapman (Appalachian State, Senior, Forward)
Frantzdy Pierrot (Coastal Carolina, Junior, Forward)
Rashid Alarape (Georgia State, Junior, Forward)
Louis Dargent (Coastal Carolina, Junior, Midfielder)
Thor Sveinbjornsson (Georgia Southern, Junior, Midfielder)
Jack Donaldson (Hartwick, Senior, Midfielder)
Jamie O’Grady (Hartwick, Senior, Midfielder)
Elis Bjornsson (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Defender)
Einar Einarsson (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Defender)
Kit Tregear (Hartwick, Senior, Defender)
Lenny Wilson (Hartwick, Sophomore, Goalkeeper)

2016 Preseason Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Jamie O’Grady (Hartwick, Senior, Midfielder)
Frantzdy Pierrot (Coastal Carolina, Junior, Forward)

2016 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Kit Tregear (Hartwick, Senior, Defender)

2016 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll (First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

  1. Coastal Carolina – 35 points (5)
  2. Hartwick – 31 points (1)
  3. Georgia State – 23 points
  4. Georgia Southern – 17 points
  5. Appalachian State – 14 points
  6. Howard – 6 points
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