A 17-win season and a trip to the Elite Eight last fall have certainly opened some eyes for The University of Scranton men’s soccer team. Apparently some of those eyes belong to soccer coaches around the country.
The Royals are tied for 10th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason Top 25 for NCAA Division III, which was released Aug. 13 . The Royals finished last season ranked ninth after going 17-2-3 and reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to eventual national champion Messiah, 3-0.
Head coach Matt Pivirotto, who is entering his 15th season, welcomes back 18 players from last year’s squad. Midfielder Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) returns for his final year of eligibility after being named a second-team All-American by both the NSCAA and D3soccer.com, as well as a first-team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. McGuiness, who was the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year, tallied 12 goals and seven assists on the season, including three goals and an assist in four NCAA Tournament games.
The Royals also return a pair of first-team all-conference performers in senior midfielder Colin McFadden and senior defender Stephen Kilty .
Scranton will open its season on Friday, Aug. 30, when it hosts Elizabethtown at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field in the King’s/Scranton Classic. The Royals will host Cabrini the next day at 2 p.m.
The Royals will face two teams ranked in the preseason top 25. Conference rival Susquehanna (Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m., Fitzpatrick Field) is ranked 16th, and non-conference foe Oneonta State (Oct. 16, 4 p.m., Fitzpatrick Field) is ranked 24th.
Defending national champion Messiah is atop the poll after going 23-0-2 in 2012 to win its ninth national title. For the full NSCAA preseason top 25, visit http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings.