PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston men's soccer was picked to finish in third place in the Little East Conference standings, the league office announced on Friday afternoon.
The Beacons were part of a clear top-four in the Little East Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll. Eastern Connecticut State University (59 points, 4 first-place votes (FPV), Western Connecticut State University (52 points, 2 FPV), UMass Boston (49 points, 3 FPV) and Keene State College (44 points) are all expected to return to the LEC Semifinals in 2019.
Men's Soccer earned their fifth-straight trip to the LEC Semifinals last fall, after they defeated sixth-seeded University of Southern Maine 4-1 in the LEC Quarterfinal Round. The #3 Beacons saw their season come to a close in a 1-0 loss to second-seeded Keene State College in the semifinals.
Castleton University (42 points), Rhode Island College (31 points), Plymouth State University (23 points), UMass Dartmouth (18 points) and the University of Southern Maine (16 points) rounded out the nine-team poll.
Seventh-year head coach Jake Beverlin returns 14 players from the 2018 season, including three of the team's five All-Conference honorees.
Senior goalkeeper Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) returns for his final season after setting new career-highs in saves, games played and minutes as a junior. The Second Team All-Conference selection enters his senior campaign as the program's all-time leader in career goals against average (0.94) and shutouts (18).
Junior center back Yuran Teixeira (Praia, Cape Verde) will look to lead the Beacons defense for a second-straight season. He helped UMass Boston's new-look back four lead the LEC last season with a 0.59 goals against average during league play and he also tacked on four goals and nine total points.
Senior Raffi DeSouza (Watertown, Mass.) is the third returning All-Conference selection, after helping carrying the load offensively last fall. With several forwards going down early in the season, DeSouza finished second on the team with 11 points and tied for second with four goals.
UMass Boston will open the season next Friday across the river, when they take on MIT at 7 p.m. Last season, the Engineers held off a late Beacons comeback bid to earn a 2-1 win in both teams' season opener.
The Beacons will open their home slate on Labor Day (Monday, September 2), when they welcome cross-town rival Wentworth Institute of Technology to James Cotter Field at 2 p.m.
UMass Boston will begin LEC play on Saturday September 21, when they make their first-ever trip to Castleton University (1 p.m. start).
|2019 LEC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|6.||Rhode Island College||31|