GREENVILLE, S.C. – Defending champion Limestone has been selected as the favorite in the 2019 Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Preseason Poll.
Ranked 25th in the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, Limestone has swept the conference regular season and tournament titles over the last two seasons. The Saints received nine first-place votes and a total of 99 points to claim the top spot in the 2019 Conference Carolinas men's soccer preseason tally.
In last year's Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship Game, Limestone narrowly escaped Chowan with a 1-0 game-winning golden goal in the 108th minute. The Hawks are once again right there with the Saints as things start in the 2019 campaign with Chowan receiving two first-place votes and a total of 90 points to sit second.
Belmont Abbey (78) is third in the preseason poll followed by Lees-McRae (63) and King (61). Barton (55) is sixth, while Mount Olive (51) is seventh in the preseason poll.
Emmanuel is just behind the grouping with 50 total points. Erskine and North Greenville are tied for the ninth spot in the preseason poll followed by Southern Wesleyan.
Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Players to Watch (Submitted by Conference Carolinas Coaches)
Zach Baker, North Greenville, So., F, Taylors, S.C.
Vicente Belloso, Erskine, Jr., D, Valencia, Spain
Jairo Ruiz Caram*, King, Sr., M, Newnan, Ga. (2018 third team All-Conference Carolinas)
Caleb Compton, Southern Wesleyan, So., M, High Point, N.C.
Shane Cronin, Emmanuel, Jr., MF, Cork, Ireland
Ruairi Croskery*, Limestone, Sr., F, Castlewellan, Northern Ireland (2017 First-Team All-Conference, 2017 Conference Carolinas Tournament Most Valuable Player)
Ben Delisle*, King, Jr., M, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2018 All-Championship Team selection)
Layne Gairrett, Mount Olive, Sr., D, Zebulon, N.C.
Gareth Greene, North Greenville, Jr., F, Navarre, Fla.
Jeremy Gwaltney, Emmanuel, Sr., MF, Marietta, Ga.
Grant Kiker, Southern Wesleyan, Jr., F, Charlotte, N.C.
Ben Knust*, Belmont Abbey, So., GK, Omaha, Neb. (2018 second team All-Conference Carolinas)
Mitchell Levi Lewis*, Chowan, R-Jr., MF, Hull, England (2018 third team All-Conference Carolinas)
Roberto Ortega Lopez*, Limestone, Gr., MF, Cuenca, Spain (2018 second team All-Conference Carolinas; 2018 All-Championship Team selection)
Aaron Madison, Belmont Abbey, Jr., F, Statesville, N.C.
Ruben Mancio*, Barton, Sr., F, Cadiz, Spain (2018 first team All-Conference Carolinas)
Thomas Murray*, Belmont Abbey, Sr., D, Tiverton, R.I. (2018 third team All-Conference Carolinas)
Johannes Oeksnevad, Lees-McRae, Jr., F, Hommersaak, Norway
Alex Olson, Southern Wesleyan, Jr., D, Williamston, S.C.
Agustin Ortiz*, Lees-McRae, Jr., MF, Mendoza, Argentina (2018 first team All-Conference Carolinas)
Channing Park, Emmanuel, Sr., MF, Fayetteville, Ga.
Dario Pavon, Erskine, Sr., F, Madrid, Spain
Alex Pico, Erskine, Jr., GK, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Alfie Pope, Mount Olive, So. F, Kingston Upon Thames, London, England
Nacho Reigada*, Limestone, Gr., D, Oviedo, Spain (2018 first team All-Conference Carolinas)
Carlos Saavedra*, King, Sr., F, Chicureo, Chile (2018 first team All-Conference Carolinas)
Toby Sims*, Chowan, Jr., D, Tuxford, England (2018 Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year; 2018 first team All-Conference Carolinas)
Anders Stoakes, Lees-McRae, Sr., MF, Greenville, N.C.
* - Denotes 2018 Conference Carolinas All-Conference and/or All-Championship or Award Winner
About Conference Carolinas
Conference Carolinas has a rich tradition in roots that dates back to its early initial inception on Dec. 6, 1930. The NCAA Division II athletics conference presently has member schools located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Conference Carolinas member institutions for the upcoming 2019-20 athletic year are Barton, Belmont Abbey, Chowan, Converse, Emmanuel, Erskine, King, Lees-McRae, Limestone, Mount Olive, North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan.
Conference Carolinas believes in the development and formation of the whole person in body, mind and soul. Our students are nationally recognized for their extraordinary success in the classroom, in the community and at the highest levels of NCAA competition.
Please visit conferencecarolinas.com to learn more about Conference Carolinas.