Men's Soccer picked to finish seventh in MASCAC preseason poll

Men's Soccer picked to finish seventh in MASCAC preseason poll

Westfield, Mass.— The reigning Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference men's soccer regular season and tournament champions Worcester State have been selected to repeat this season as decided by the eight coaches from around the league.

The Lancers claimed three of the first place votes for a total of 45 points. Last season, they finished atop the standings with a 5-2 record in league play. Returning is First Team AllConference honoree Bryan Brasil who led the MASCAC in total points with 25 last season on 11 goals and three assists. He was also third in the conference in game-winning goals with three.

In the second spot with three of the first place votes for 40 points is Bridgewater State. The Bears had three wins and a tie during conference action in 2016. Filipe Gomes is back after not only earning a spot on the All-Conference squad, but leading the team with seven goals and two assists for 16 points.

Framingham State grabs the final two first place votes for 39 points to land in the third slot. The Rams were 4-3 last season during league play. Ken Stahovish led the team in total points with 18 on the second-most assists (6) and ninth-most goals in the MASCAC on his way to earning Second Team All-Conference accolades.

Massachusetts Maritime is up next in fourth with 28 points. The Buccaneers tallied a 4-1-2 mark last season. Back in goal for the team is Mike Pruchnik, who led the conference in saves with 89 while also netting a .795 save percentage, a 1.51 goals against average and six wins on the year.

Sitting in the fifth and sixth place spots are Fitchburg State and Salem State with 23 and 18 points, respectively. The Falcons, the 2016 Tournament Runner-Up, claimed three wins last season in conference action. Reigning MASCAC Rookie of the Year Matt Krikorian returns after leading the conference in goals scored with 11, second in total points with 24 and the third best shooting percentage at .407. Back on the pitch for the Vikings is Lance Francois who recorded three goals for six points last season.

Closing out the 2017 poll in seventh and eighth, respectively are MCLA with 17 points and Westfield State with 14. The Trailblazers netted three wins and a tie last season. 2016 MASCAC Player of the Year Anthony Basile led the way for the team last season tallying 10 goals and two assists for 22 points with a .479 shooting percentage. The Owls had two wins and two ties during conference action. Brodie Keene finished fourth in the league with eight goals and fifth in total points with 18 to lead his team.

The 2017 season begins the weekend of September 1-3 with the MASCAC teams all in non-conference action.

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the nation's oldest Division III men's and women's playing conference, has a rich and storied tradition of competitive success while celebrating excellence in the classroom. MASCAC member schools include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. Two other institutions, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University, are affiliate members of the conference in the sports of football and men's ice hockey, while Western Connecticut State University joined the conference as an affiliate member in football beginning in 2013.

2017 MASCAC Men's Soccer Pre-Season Coaches Poll (First Place Votes In Parentheses)

1. Worcester State (3) 45 points
2. Bridgewater State (3) 40 points
3. Framingham State (2) 39 points
4. Massachusetts Maritime 28 points
5. Fitchburg State 23 points
6. Salem State 18 points
7. MCLA 17 points
8. Westfield State 14 points