EMMITSBURG, Md. - The Mount St. Mary's men's soccer team has been picked fifth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Coaches Poll, announced on Tuesday.
Monmouth, who claimed the last four league regular season titles and the 2009 NEC Tournament crown, has been unanimously selected as the preseason favorite in 2010. Quinnipiac, Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (N.Y.) were picked 2-3-4 while the Mount, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis (Pa.), Long Island, Central Connecticut State, Robert Morris and Bryant rounded out the 11-team poll.
Mount St. Mary's returns four of its Top-5 scorers, including all-conference performers junior Chris Wheeler (New Castle, Australia/St. Francis Xavier) and senior Eric Detzel (York, Pa./Central York). Wheeler nabbed All-NEC first-team honors after leading the team with eight goals and one assist for 17 points in his sophomore campaign while Detzel picked up an All-NEC second-team selection after notching four goals and one assist for nine points in 2009. Wheeler comes into his third season in Emmitsburg ranking fifth in Mount Division I career history in goals (20) and seventh in points (44), and Detzel sits in seventh place in goals (14), eighth in points (37) and ninth in assists (9).
Senior Scott Phinith (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder), who stands 10th for assists (10) for his career in Mount Division I history, ranked fourth on the squad with one goal and five assists for seven points. Junior Ian Hendrie (Potomac, Md./St. Andrew's Episcopal School) ranked fifth on the squad after finding the twine three times as a sophomore.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Davis (Townsville, Australia/Kirwan State) returns for his final season in between the pipes at the Mount. The senior posted 53 saves, a 1.76 goals against average and a .646 saves percentage in 2009. Davis ranks fifth in program history in career minutes played (4565) and shutouts (12) while also ranking fourth in minutes played and fourth in saves (185) in Mount Division I history.
Mount St. Mary's finished 6-10-1 overall and 5-4-1 in NEC play last season, missing out on its second-straight appearance in the league tournament by one point. Head coach Rob Ryerson returns for his 11th season at the Mount and has guided the team to a 10-8-1 mark in conference play in the last two campaigns.
Mount St. Mary's opens the 2010 season at home against Towson on Sept. 1. Game time is 7 p.m.