[CAA: Men]Northeastern, which returns eight starters from last year’s 14-3-4 team that captured its first CAA men’s championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, is favored to capture the conference title again in 2013.
The Huskies, who set a school record for victories in 2012, claimed the top spot in the poll of the league’s coaches after receiving three first-place votes and 44 total points. Drexel, which won the CAA regular-season title in 2012, also got three first-place votes and finished second with 41 points. James Madison picked up one first-place tally and was third with 36 points, while Hofstra also got a first-place vote and was right behind with 35 points.
Back to lead Northeastern is junior defender Simon Cox, who scored four goals and was the CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year last season. Also returning are midfielder Dante Marini (1 goal, 5 assists) and defender Ambry Moss, who both made the All-CAA second team a year ago.
Drexel returns seven starters from its 12-4-3 squad that lost just once in CAA play and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 1972. The Dragons’ top returnee is senior midfielder Nathan Page, who scored a team-high nine goals and was named to the All-CAA first team in 2012.
James Madison has seven starters back from last year’s 9-7-3 team. Sophomore defender Bjarki Aðalsteinsson earned first-team All-CAA accolades in his first season with the Dukes, while junior forward Josh Grant, who helped RVA FC win the 2013 NPSL title over the summer, scored seven goals and was voted to the CAA All-Rookie squad last year.
Hofstra has six returning starters, including second-team All-CAA forwards Maid Memic (team-high 9 goals, 4 assists) and Chris Griebsch (4 goals, CAA-best 11 assists) from its 11-6-4 unit that advanced to the 2012 CAA championship game.
CAA Preseason Poll:
1. Northeastern (3 first-place votes) 44
2. Drexel (3 first-place votes) 41
3. James Madison (1 first-place vote) 36
4. Hofstra (1 first-place vote) 35
5. UNC Wilmington 22
6. William & Mary 20
7. College of Charleston 16
8. Delaware 10