The North Carolina men made a clean sweep of preseason rankings when it was ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25. Elmar
's boys are coming off a runner-up finish in the 2008 Men's College Cup.
The Heels return six starters and all four substitutes from last year's team that lost ACC rival
Maryland, 1-0, in the final. Billy Dworsky
, UNC's leading scorer in 2007, is back in action after redshirting in 2008, and two former first-team
freshman All-Americans Michael Farfan
(Cal State Fullerton) and Stephen McCarthy
(Santa Clara) transferred to Chapel
The freshman class is led by South Carolina prep legend Enzo Martinez
(182 goals at Northwestern High School).
-- Only two other
ACC teams are ranked in the Top 25 -- No. 5 Wake Forest and Maryland No. 8. Both teams suffered heavy losses to the pro ranks but both welcome strong freshman classes.
-- The Big East led
all conferences with five teams in the Top 25: No. 3 St. John's, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 13 Connecticut, No. 18 South Florida and No. 23 Louisville.
-- Unlike the women, where a half a
dozen conferences dominated the preseason rankings, the Men's Top 25 features teams from 13 conferences. Other conferences represented are the Big West and Big Ten with three, Pac-10 with two and
the Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, CAA, Conference USA, America East and MPSF, all with one. TRIVIA:
Never has a school
swept the men's and women's Division I titles in the same year. The Carolina women won and the men were second in 2008. The only year the Tar Heel men won the national championship was in 2001 when
the women fell to Santa Clara in the final. Soccer America Top 5
TEAM (2008 RECORD)
2. Akron (17-2-4)
3. St. John's (19-3-3)
4. Indiana (14-7-3)
5. Wake Forest (21-2-1) Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25 Wednesday:
Soccer America Men's Preseason All-Americans
* Virginia's preseason troubles continued as the Cavs fell to Old Dominion, 3-1, on Monday night. All the goals came in the last 15
minutes. Freshman Ahkeel Rodney
evened the score after Nane Joseph
put ODU ahead on a penalty kick, but the Monarchs
won on late goals by Emmanuel Ambane
and Yannick Smith
. Virginia had lost, 1-0, to another state rival, George Mason,
* Ethan Finlay
had both goals for No. 6 Creighton in its 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Wizards on Monday. Former Bluejay standout Michael Kraus
scored the game-winning goal for the MLS team.
* Steven Perry
's goal was the difference as Notre
Dame edged No. 11 Northwestern, 1-0, before 1,756 fans in South Bend.