College Soccer News Ranks Lobos Preseason #2 In Country
Aug. 11, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - College Soccer News released their 2012 Preseason Top 30 Poll, and they ranked New Mexico men's soccer second in the nation. It marks the second time this week the Lobos have made an appearance in the top ten positions of a national NCAA soccer poll.
College Soccer News wrote of New Mexico, "Nine starters return from the 2011 team that was 18-0-4 and was ranked number one for a significant portion of the season. Senior forward Devon Sandoval (8g, 8a), senior midfielder Blake Smith (10g, 5a), junior center back Kyle Venter, and goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez are among what looks to be one of the deepest, most experienced, and talented teams in the country in 2012. Hungry plus talented equals wins. New Mexico opens the 2012 season with matches on the road with UCLA, Tulsa and SMU. If the chemistry and focus are there then the sky is the limit for the Lobos."
The poll has the Lobos second in the nation behind the defending national champions, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and one spot ahead of national champion runner-up UNC Charlotte. The cherry & silver were one of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams featured in CSN's preseason top 30 with the other being CSU Bakersfield, which came in 29th in the poll.
The "iron sharpens iron" philosophy of Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein with regards to scheduling is apparent in this poll as well. Six opponents from the 2012 schedule were listed in College Soccer News's Top 30 poll. UCLA (seventh), UC Irvine (15th), UAB (20th), SMU (21st), Northern Illinois (26th) and CSU Bakersfield (29th) all joined the Lobos in the top 30 teams according to CSN.
To read the poll in its entirety, click here.
The season is less than two week away as New Mexico will open their 2012 campaign on August 24th at UCLA at 8 p.m. (MT).
The Lobos Polling Well So Far:
New Mexico's ranking in various preseason polls to this point:
College Soccer News (National Poll): Second
National Soccer Coaches Association of America (National Poll): Sixth
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coaches Poll: First