Montclair, NJ (8/11/11) – The Montclair State men’s soccer team was selected as preseason favorite in the New Jersey Athletic Conference as the league unveiled its 2011 Coaches Poll on Thursday. It is the fourth time in the last five seasons that Montclair has been in the top spot in the poll conducted by the league’s head coaches.
MSU collected three first-place votes to finish ahead of 2010 regular-season champion The College of New Jersey, which earned four first-place votes. William Paterson, defending champion Kean University and Richard Stockton were third through fifth, respectively with each receiving one first-place vote. Ramapo, Rutgers-Camden, “Dark Horse” selection Rutgers-Newark, Rowan and New Jersey City round out the final spots in the poll.
The 2010 Red Hawks finished fourth in the conference regular season with a 6-3-0 league mark before advancing to the NJAC Tournament semifinals where they were eliminated by TCNJ in penalty kicks ending Montclair’s four-year reign as conference champions.
In 2011, MSU will be led by new rookie head coach Todd Tumelty. The Red Hawks return three all-league performers from their 2010 NCAA squad, including sophomore midfielder Dan Mendoza (Hackensack, NJ / Hackensack), junior back William O’Connor (Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo), and junior goalkeeper Anthony Rogic (Boonton, NJ / Morris Catholic).
The Red Hawks will open their season on Friday, September 2 against New Paltz to kick off a three-game homestand to start the year. Montclair will face an tough early test against New York University on Sunday, September 4 before closing out the homestand versus John Jay on September 6. Montclair will then head to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA on September 9 and 10. MSU begins is conference slate on Wednesday, September 16 at Rowan.