MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) office released its preseason polls, as voted conference wide by soccer coaches, selecting Morrisville State as its preseason favorite after garnering 11 of 14 first place votes.
Morrisville State, three-time defending champion, enters its eighth season under direction of head coach Kyle Graves, and returns 15 to the lineup that over the course of their athletic careers has taken the program to one of distinction within conference play.
After posting a 16-4 mark a year ago and a 12-1 conference record, the Mustangs battled their way to the NEAC regular season title and tournament championship. Five starters return to the line-up this season, with hopes of making it a fourth straight claim, including senior all-conference midfielders Jose Figueroa (Boston, Mass.) and Julian Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y.).
Both combined for 19 goals and 49 points in the high powered offense that averaged 5.08 goals scored per game in conference play, while reigning Rookie of the Year Griffen MacWatters (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) will add to his first-year success that accumulated eight goals and five assists.
Defensively, senior Ryan Houghtalen (Syracuse, N.Y.) returns to anchor a defensive unit that will undergo change in 2017, after limiting opponents to just 22 goals across 20 games during the 2016 season, including a 0.92 goals against average in NEAC action.
Penn St. Abington was voted second in the poll after receiving two first place votes for 153 total points, while Keuka College, Penn St. Berks and Wells College rounded out the top five.
Morrisville State opens the 2017 season on the road at Elizabethtown on Friday, September 1, kicking off a six game non-conference stint in preparation for the conference opener against Route 20 Rival Cazenovia on the 23rd.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.