Aug. 12, 2009

Courtesy of Lynn Athletics

KANSAS CITY – Lynn University’s men’s soccer team was picked ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas preseason poll for the upcoming 2009 season. The Fighting Knights are coming off an 18-2-0 season in which they won both the Sunshine State Conference regular season and tournament titles.

Defending national champions Cal State-Dominguez Hills topped the poll followed by 2008 runner-up Dowling.  Conference rival Tampa came in at No. 3, the only other SSC program to be ranked in the preseason.

Lynn collected four wins last year against teams in the preseason poll, topping Tampa twice and Franklin Pierce (No. 16) and West Florida (No. 20) once each.  The Knights play both UT and UWF again this season.

With the graduation of five All-Americans, including the reigning SSC Player and Offensive Player of the Year, the Blue and White look to reload for the upcoming season with a bevy of talented newcomers to work with their remaining veterans.

Despite losing its top-three scorers from the nation’s most potent offense, Lynn returns a pair of dangerous forwards in junior Kyle Conrad and senior Gabe Taboada, a Second Team All-SSC selection a year ago.  The duo combined for nearly a quarter of the Knights’ offense and both ranked in the top-100 nationally in points per game.

Returning to anchor a defense that allowed an SSC best 0.89 goals-against average are juniors Sam Craven, a Second Team All-SSC honoree in 2008, and Joe Cundall.

Lynn opens its 2009 season with a four-game road trek, starting with Harding on August 28.  The Knights’ first home contest will be against Webber International on September 11 as part of the Lynn/Embassy Suites Classic.