CENTER VALLEY, PA. — After reaching the finals of the Patriot League Tournament and securing a vote in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, The American University men's soccer team took the top spot in the PL Preseason Poll, as announced on Tuesday afternoon by the league.
"We're happy to have the target on our backs," said head coach Todd West. "Our league is stacked from top to bottom. Lehigh and Boston University qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season and Loyola brought in a top-20 recruiting class. Our team is working hard and improving daily to get us to our goal of winning the Patriot League and a chance at the NCAA Tournament."
Ludwig and Nahkid will look to add to the Eagles' offensive unit that lost top scorer Liam Robley to graduation. Ludwig finished third in points with 15 behind Robley and classmate Vinny Barone. Nahkid ended his junior season with 10 points on four goals and two assists. Both playmakers have trained hard during the off-season and will be asked to carry a heavy load on offense.
On defense, Garcia will team up with classmate Michael Cherry to once again be the last line of defense for the Eagles. The Cherry-Garcia unit along with classmate Chris Fanet was responsible for allowing less than a goal per game in 2015.
American starts its regular season campaign Friday at 4:30 p.m. against George Mason in the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup at Reeves Field.
Patriot League Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. American, 148 points (6 first-place votes)
2. Boston University, 147 (10)
3. Colgate, 130 (3)
4. Lehigh, 126 (1)
5. Navy, 80
6. Bucknell, 73
6. Army, 73
8. Holy Cross, 48
8. Loyola, 48
10. Lafayette, 27
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Ethan Kutler, Colgate (Sr., F)
Patriot League Preseason Midfielder of the Year: Anthony Viteri, Boston University (Jr., M)
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: David Asbjornsson, Boston University (Sr., D)
Men's Soccer Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Felix De Bona, Boston University (Sr., F)
Ethan Kutler, Colgate (Sr., F)
Dale Ludwig, American (Sr., M)
Panos Nakhid, American (Sr., M)
Anthony Viteri, Boston University (Jr., M)
Jared Stroud, Colgate (Jr., M)
Jake Garcia, American (Sr., D)
David Asbjornsson, Boston University (Sr., D)
Zach Tamen, Colgate (Sr., D)
Justin Worley, Lehigh (Sr., D)
Matt Gilbert, Boston University (Sr., GK)