Men’s Soccer Picked To Finish Fourth In NEC Preseason Poll

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's soccer team has been picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference in the 2013 season, as the league released its preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday.

The Pioneers were 9-8 in 2012 under head coach Joe Barroso, with 12 of their 17 games decided by one goal. Sacred Heart was 5-5 in the NEC last season, nearly missing out on the NEC Tournament. The Pioneers return two of its top-three scorers in senior forward Ronaldo Vieira (Framingham, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Mahmoud Kafel (Fairfield, Conn.), who each tallied three goals last season. Sophomore goalkeeper Tucker Hackett (Madison, Conn.) also returns after posting a 1.31 goals against average in 14 games in 2012, putting him among the top-10 in the conference.

Fairleigh Dickinson was the unanimous choice atop the preseason coaches' poll, followed by Central Connecticut and Saint Francis U. Bryant was picked fifth, followed by St. Francis Brooklyn, LIU Brooklyn, and Robert Morris.

Sacred Heart opens the 2013 season on Friday, August 30 at Stony Brook with the home opener on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Siena at 2 p.m. at Campus Field.

2013 NEC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. Fairleigh Dickinson (7 first-place votes)

2. Central Connecticut

3. Saint Francis U (1 first-place vote)

4. Sacred Heart

5. Bryant

6. St. Francis Brooklyn

7. LIU Brooklyn

8. Robert Morris