--The UMBC men's soccer team has been selected to finish third in the 2010 America East preseason poll, voted upon by the league's eight head coaches.
Seven-time league champion Boston University was tabbed as the preseason favorite, earning three first-place votes and 44 total points. 2009 champion Stony Brook also received three first-place votes and was a single point behind the Terriers with 43 points. UMBC, which fell to the host Seawolves in the title game, earned one first-place vote and 37 points.
New Hampshire also received one first-place vote and placed fourth overall with 29 points.Binghamton (25), Hartford (22), Vermont (14) and Albany (10) rounded out the balloting.
The top six teams in America East, which had two teams (Boston U., No. 14; UMBC, No. 18) ranked simultaneously in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll for the first time last year, will advance to the America East Championship. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, where the league champion has advanced to the second round in seven of the last nine years.
The Retrievers, picked eighth in last year's preseason poll, won their first nine games of the 2009 season en route to a strong 14-6-0 overall record. Head Coach Pete Caringi's squad won a pair of road games in the America East Tournament before falling, 2-0, to host Stony Brook in their first-ever appearance in the championship match.
UMBC is slated to return 17 letterwinners and all 11 starters from the 2009 squad. The team opens play on Thursday, Sept. 2 when they entertain VMI at 4:30 on the Bermuda grass field at UMBC Soccer Stadium.