FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s soccer team is ranked 22nd in the 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas preseason Top 25 poll released recently. A pair of Patriot players also earned Peach Belt Conference Preseason All-Conference recognition.
Francis Marion returns 17 of 20 lettermen, including all but one starter, from last year’s 14-5-3 squad that won both the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships and then advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
The Patriots were recently picked as preseason co-favorites in the race for the 2009 PBC title. FMU is the lone PBC squad in the current Top 25 rankings.
Francis Marion appeared in the national poll at the end of the 2008 season.
Senior forward/midfielder Kyle Clinton and junior back Ivan Juric were both picked to the 2009 preseason All-PBC squad by a poll of the conference’s coaches.
Clinton, a native of Safety Harbor, Fla., led Francis Marion last fall with 10 goals and 25 points. He was tied for third on the team with five assists. In 57 career matches, he has tallied 22 goals and eight assists.
Juric, a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, scored eight goals, including three match winners, and handed out seven assists for 23 points (second-best on the team) last season.
Francis Marion opens its 2009 regular season on Aug. 27 at Wingate University. FMU’s home opener will be on Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. against St. Andrews Presbyterian College.