Falcons ranked in preseason men’s soccer poll

Published 10:03 am Friday, August 12, 2011

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The University of Montevallo men’s soccer team is ranked No. 19 in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s NCAA Division II national rankings, which were released Aug. 12.

The ranking marks the first time the Falcons have held a spot in the preseason poll since the 2008 season, when they were ranked No. 4 in the first poll.

The Falcons had a tremendous first year under head coach Ken Hassler as they ascended to a No. 2 ranking in the national poll last season and finished with a Peach Belt Conference championship and an overall record of 18-2-2.

Montevallo also hosted its first NCAA Southeast Region Tournament last season. The Falcons fell to Anderson University in the quarterfinals after dropping a round of penalty kicks 4-2 following a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation.

Montevallo is one of just three Peach Belt Conference teams ranked in the top 25. Clayton State University enters the 2011 season ranked No. 5, while Flagler College comes in at No. 22.

The Falcons return six starters from last season’s Peach Belt Conference championship team, including senior midfielder Vance Curro, a Spain Park High School graduate.

The Falcons begin their preseason training Monday, Aug. 15 and will host their first preseason exhibition on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. as they take on a team from the Birmingham United Soccer Association.

Montevallo opens the regular season on the road Sept. 1 at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C.