Wednesday, 09 August 2017 20:16

Maine soccer selected sixth in America East preseason poll

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ORONO - Last year, the Maine soccer squad debuted a young core of players that perhaps was not aware of what was ahead of it. With a parity-filled conference, the Black Bears were thrust right into the middle of the pact, and ended up punching a playoff ticket. With parity expected once more in America East, the school now knows how its opponents view them.

The Black Bears were picked to finish sixth in the 2017 America East preseason poll, tied with UMass Lowell with 26 points overall. The Hartford Hawks were tabbed first in the conference with 58 overall points, though were second in terms of first place votes. Defending conference champion Albany took those honors with five, good for a second place overall selection.

 

New Hampshire, the team that beat Maine in the America East playoffs, was picked to finish third. The entire poll can be found here.

 

Overall, this Maine team now has more seasoning, and a fifth place finish could be underestimating the squad. Head coach Scott Atherley thinks this year's team will be ready to look compete for a home playoff spot this time around, as they take more experience into 2017.

 

"I don't think they knew what to expect," Atherley said. "Now the idea is that we have such a strong core of players that understand what the expectations are. What the competition looks like. The difference between non-conference and conference scheduling. And I think their ambition is they got a taste of it last year, the idea is now we want to make that next step."

Jon Alba

Anchor/Sports Director
[email protected]

Jon Alba joined ABC 7 and FOX 22 in September of 2015 to serve as sports director and anchor. He is a graduate of Quinnipiac University, where he served as general manager of the school's television station Q30 Television for two years.

During his tenure, Q30 was named "College Television Station of the Year" by the College Media Association in 2014, and picked up additional national award recognition as well. Jon has been acknowledged by the Society of Professional Journalists for his commitment to sports journalism, including his investigative work while covering Quinnipiac Athletics.

Prior to moving to Maine, Jon was a lifelong resident of New Jersey. There, he formed a passion for covering sports, knowing since age 5 he wanted to tell stories for a living.

In the past, Jon has worked at MLB Network, alongside MLB Advanced Media. Additionally, his work has been featured on AOL Sports. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @JonAlba.