The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team is receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Preseason rankings, announced NSCAA officials Tuesday.
"It is nice to be recognized by other people," said head coach Lee Squires. "Our goal is to work hard to improve
our ranking by playing good soccer and winning games. Ultimately though, it only matters where you are ranked at the end of the season."
Defending national champion Fort Lewis College retains the top spot in the rankings, followed by Lynn University, Franklin Pierce University, Millersville University, and Flagler College. Rockhurst University is sixth, followed by Southern New Hampshire University, Cal State Los Angeles, Simon Fraser University, and University of the Incarnate Word.
The Southeast region is well represented in this year's preseason rankings, with Flager (No. 5), Mars Hill (No. 17), Coker (No. 18), and Anderson (No. 24) each ranking in the top 25 while the Bobcats are receiving votes to start the season.
The Bobcats are gearing up for another successful season in Lee Squires' second year at the helm, hoping to build on their runner-up finish in both the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament. Lees-McRae posted a sterling 15-6-1 record last fall, including a 9-2 worksheet in conference play, en route to the program's fifth consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Squires returns 12 lettermen from last year's squad, including Daktronics and NSCAA all-Southeast Region selections James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) and James Smith (Eastbourne, England), who combined for 17 goals, 12 assists, and 46 points last season. The Bobcats performed exceptionally well under pressure in 2011, posting a 13-4 record in matches deciding by one goal, including a thrilling 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 Coker in the second extra time period on Oct. 22.
Lees-McRae will open the season on Friday, August 31 against one of the favorites to capture this year's national championship, hosting No. 2 Lynn at 3:30 p.m. on Tate Field.
Photo Courtesy: Lee Squires, LMC Athletics