TOWSON, Md. - The Catholic University men's soccer team has been selected first in the 2019 Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office Wednesday morning.
The Cardinals recorded 11 wins in the 2018 season, their most successful campaign since 2013, to earn a spot in the Landmark Championship last fall. Returning eight starters from last season, head coach Travis Beauchamp's team received 64 total points and four first-place votes. Drew University followed close behind with 60 points and three first-place votes for second place, while defending champs Elizabethtown College received 46 points and one first-place vote.
Catholic kicks off its season with the 4th annual "Turk" Emekli D.C. Classic on Friday, August 30, in a match against Gettysburg College at 7 p.m.
The Cards host 2018 NCAA Tournament foe Lycoming in the second game of the "Turk" on Saturday before the team heads up to Long Island for two away matches against St. Joseph's (9/7) and St. Joseph's Brooklyn (9/8).
Landmark Conference competition begins on the road for the Cardinals as they take on Scranton on Saturday, September 28 at 1 p.m. In their last regular season match of the season, the Cards travel to Elizabethtown on Saturday, November 2 at 1 p.m. The contest is a rematch of last year's conference championship matchup.
Beauchamp has added 10 newcomers to the roster for the upcoming season who will look to fill the key losses from the likes of All-Region Third Teamer Brian Galfond and central defender Corbin Brailsford.
Among the returnees are three 2018 Landmark All-Conference selections - senior defenders Mike Narzikul and Ryan Kennedy as well as junior forward Ben Alexander. Narzikul and Kennedy led the Catholic defense allow just 19 total goals last season, including an impressive four goals against Landmark teams. As a team, the Cardinals held their opponents scoreless in eight matches. Alexander scored a team-high six goals, including three game-winners. Upperclassmen Mitch Ford, Mason Reinhart, Andrew Laurenzano, and Bradley Pierro also return after playing in almost every match last season.
The semifinals of the 2019 Landmark Conference Men's Soccer Championship will be played on Tuesday, November 5 with the championship game on Saturday, November 9.
The Cardinals, who finished last season ranked at No. 10 in the Mid-Atlantic Region, will face five teams who finished in the final regional rankings as well.
2019 Landmark Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
() indicates first-place votes
- Catholic – 64 (4)
- Drew – 60 (3)
- Elizabethtown – 46 (1)
- Scranton – 38
- Moravian – 25
- Susquehanna – 17
- Goucher – 15
- Juniata - 7