LakePoint, Ga. – The USC Upstate men’s soccer team has been predicted to finish in sixth place according to the league’s head coaches, while junior defender/midfielder Lukas Sommer was named ASUN Preseason All-Conference, it was announced this afternoon by the conference office.
The Spartans garnered a total of 17 points in the preseason poll after finishing last season with a 7-7-1 overall record and making their first-ever appearance in the ASUN Tournament championship game. Upstate returns 10 letterwinners from last year’s team, including five starters, while welcoming in a total of 19 newcomers.
Defending regular season champion, Florida Gulf Coast, has been picked as the league’s preseason favorite after receiving two first-place votes and a total of 42 points. North Florida, who won the ASUN Tournament last year, is second as it also picked up two first-place votes and 38 total points. Lipscomb comes in at third place with two first-place votes and 34 points, and Jacksonville sits fourth with one first-place vote and 31 points.
NJIT, who is joining the ASUN this season for men’s soccer, sits in front of Upstate in fifth with 23 points. Stetson rounds out the preseason poll in seventh place with a total of 11 points.
Sommer was one of five players to start in all 15 games last season and finished the year tied for third on the team in assists, fourth in points and tied for fourth in goals. The Nordwalde, Germany native compiled three points on one goal and one assist. Sommer dished out an assist in the Spartans 7-0 win at Presbyterian College before scoring his first goal of the season at Florida Gulf Coast during the ASUN Tournament.
Lipscomb earned two of the three individual honors for the preseason as Ivan Alvarado was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year and Micah Bledsoe the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. FGCU’s Nicolas Samayoa earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
Upstate will play three exhibition games in the next eight days prior to opening its regular season at home against Presbyterian College on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.
ASUN Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll
1. FGCU (2) – 42 points
2. North Florida (2) – 38 points
3. Lipscomb (2) – 34 points
4. Jacksonville (1) – 31 points
5. NJIT – 23 points
6. USC Upstate – 17 points
7. Stetson – 11 points
ASUN Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team
Micah Bledsoe, GK, Lipscomb
Nicolas Samayoa, D, FGCU
Joe Amico, D, Jacksonville
Joe Kerridge, D, Lipscomb
Jay Bolt, D, North Florida
Lukas Sommer, D, USC Upstate
Miguel Jaime, MF, FGCU
Ivan Alvarado, MF, Lipscomb
Josh Castellanos, MF, North Florida
Ivan Castro, MF, North Florida
Albert Ruiz, F, FGCU*
Ejiroghene Mrabure, F, Jacksonville
Logan Paynter, F, Lipscomb
Mamadou Guirassy, F, NJIT
* – Denotes a unanimous selection to preseason team
** – A tie in voting resulted in a 14-person team
Preseason Player of the Year: Ivan Alvarado, Lipscomb
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Nicolas Samayoa, FGCU
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year: Micah Bledsoe, Lipscomb