WEST BABYLON, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team was picked to finish 6th in the East Coast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Firebirds earned 54 points in the poll to place well ahead of four other teams (Queens College – 40; University of Bridgeport – 34; Roberts Wesleyan College – 26; and Daemen College - 14).
The league's head coaches selected LIU Post as the favorite to claim its third consecutive ECC championship, and Charlie Ledula (LIU Post) and Raul Bonilla (Molloy College) as the ECC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. The Pioneers, ranked No. 7 in the United Soccer Coachs (formerly NSCAA) Preseason Poll, received all 10 first place votes to top the poll with 100 points. UDC will host LIU Post on Saturday, October 14th.
New York Institute of Technology, last year's ECC runner-up, comes in at No. 2 with 84 points, and Molloy rounded out the top-3 with 83 points. The Firebirds will take on the Bears and Lions in back-to-back games, first visiting Molloy in Rockville Centre, NY on Saturday, September 30th and then returning home to host NYIT on Wednesday, October 4th.
UDC, which finished 5-11-1 overall and 4-4-1 in league play last season, returns 13 student-athletes from last year's roster, including All-ECC performers Gabriel Torres (Sophomore/Midfield) and Victor Salinas Furio (Senior/Defender). The Firebirds were only a tiebreaker shy of qualifying for the program's first ECC Tournament in 2016.
The Firebirds will open the 2017 season at the Wilmington University Tournament in Newark, DE from August 31st – September 2nd. UDC will take on two East Region foes from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) during tournament action. First, the Firebirds battle Bloomfield College on Thursday, August 31st, and then challenge tournament host Wilmington University on Saturday, September 2nd. (The entire schedule can be seen below)
2017 ECC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
|1. LIU Post (10)||100||18-1-1 (8-0-1 ECC|
|2. NYIT||84||10-4-4 (5-2-2 ECC)|
|3. Molloy||83||11-5-1 (7-2-0 ECC)|
|4. St. Thomas Aquinas||58||8-5-5 (7-2-0 ECC)|
|5. Mercy||57||9-4-3 (3-4-2 ECC)|
|6. Dist. Columbia||54||5-11-1 (4-4-1 ECC)|
|7. Queens||40||6-7-4 (3-4-2 ECC)|
|8. Bridgeport||34||3-11-2 (3-4-2 ECC)|
|9. Roberts Wesleyan||26||4-11-1 (2-7-0 ECC)|
|10. Daemen||14||2-15-0 (0-9-0 ECC)|
2017 Schedule (ECC contests are marked with *) - UDC will be hosting its home games at UDC Field on the Van Ness Campus.
8/31 – vs. Bloomfield College (Wilmington University Tournament); 9/2 – vs. Wilmington University (Wilmington University Tournament); 9/6 – @ Lock Haven University; 9/9 - @ Nyack College; 9/13 – vs. Barton College; 9/16 – vs. *Mercy College; 9/20 @ Holy Family University; 9/23 vs. *St. Thomas Aquinas College; 9/27 – vs. West Chester University; 9/30 - @ *Molloy; 10/4 – vs. *NYIT; 10/7 - @ *University of Bridgeport; 10/10 - vs. Seton Hill; 10/14 – vs. *LIU Post; 10/18 – vs. *Roberts Wesleyan College; 10/21 - @ *Daemen College; 10/25 vs. Goldey-Beacom College; 10/28 - @ *Queens College