Clayton State ranked fifth in NSCAA Men’s Soccer preseason Division II Top 25
NSCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll
MORROW, Ga. – August 11, 2011 – Preseason practice may be only a few days old, but already expectations are at a new high for the Clayton State Laker men's soccer program heading into the 2011 season.
The National Soccer Coaches' Association of America (NSCAA) released its Division II preseason Top 25 poll on Wednesday, and the Clayton State Lakers are ranked fifth in the nation. This marks the highest preseason national ranking ever for Clayton State in men's soccer.
Clayton State is coming off its best season in program history. The Lakers finished 19-4 overall, won the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II "Elite Eight" for the first time in program history. Head coach Pete Petersen returns seven starters from last season, most notably Division II All-American forward Ryan Pugh and Division II All-Region goalkeeper Brian Garcia and All-Region forward Matty Phillips.
Four of the Lakers' opponents this season are also preseason nationally-ranked. Anderson, who Clayton State opens the regular season against on Sept. 2, is ranked 17th, while Peach Belt Conference rivals Montevallo and Flagler and ranked 19th and 22nd, respectively. In addition, Tampa, who Clayton State plays host to on Sept. 6, is ranked 23rd.
Defending NCAA Division II national champion Northern Kentucky is the preseason top-ranked team in Division II.