PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rutgers men’s soccer team has been picked to finish second in its division in the 2005 BIG EAST Preseason poll, the conference announced today. In addition, midfielder Nick LaBrocca (Howell, NJ) earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST Preseason squad.
The Scarlet Knights compiled 95 points in a vote of league coaches. St. John’s, which advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championships, totaled 120 points to place first in the Red Division. Rutgers was followed in the poll by BIG EAST newcomer South Florida, Villanova, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Louisville and DePaul. RU and St. John’s meet in the regular-season finale on Oct. 29 in Queens, NY. St. John’s will also be a part of Rutgers’ Phillips/adidas Soccer Classic, to open the season at Yurcak Field on Sept. 2 and 3.
LaBrocca, who has started 39 of a possible 40 games over the past two years, enters his junior season with nine career points on two goals and five assists. He was tied for the team lead with three assists last year and had two goals and two assists as a freshman.
In the Blue Division, defending BIG EAST Tournament champion Connecticut is slated to finish first, followed by Notre Dame, which captured the 2004 regular season title.
Five schools will be playing in the BIG EAST for the first time this season. USF, Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette combine to make the BIG EAST the largest Division I men’s soccer conference in the nation. A round-robin rotational 11-game schedule within the two divisions will makeup conference play. Each team plays seven opponents within its division and four opponents from the other division. Rutgers opens its conference slate on Friday, Sept. 16, when it hosts West Virginia.
The 2005 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship will feature the top 12 of the league’s 16 teams. The top six teams in each division, seeded by conference point total, qualify for the conference championship. The top two teams in each division earn a first-round bye to the quarterfinals. The first round and quarterfinal games will be held on the campus of the higher seeded team. First-round games will be held on Nov. 2-3, with the quarterfinals following on Nov. 5-6. The University of Connecticut will serve as host for the semifinals (Nov. 11) and the championship game (Nov. 13). Selection and seeding are based on regular season conference records.
2005 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Points Overall BIG EAST Regular Season ’04 Record BIG EAST Finish
1. Connecticut (9) 113 12-8-3 12-8-3 T5th
2. Notre Dame (7) 112 13-3-3 8-1-1 1st
3. Seton Hall 91 12-7-3 5-5-0 8th
4. Georgetown 73 11-8-2 5-4-1 T5th
5. West Virginia 60 12-7-1 5-4-1 T5th
6. Marquette 52 6-11-1 -- --
7. Pittsburgh 39 6-8-3 3-6-1 9th
8. Providence 28 0-16-0 0-10-0 12th
1. St. John’s (15) 120 12-6-4 6-1-3 2nd
2. Rutgers 95 6-8-4 2-5-3 11th
3. USF (1) 90 10-5-2 -- --
4. Villanova 71 7-5-6 5-3-2 4th
5. Cincinnati 61 7-10-2 -- --
6. Syracuse 59 5-12-0 3-7-0 10th
7. Louisville 50 5-10-4 -- --
8. DePaul 22 3-14-3 -- --
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Ricky Schramm, Jr., Georgetown
Sacha Kljestan, Jr., Seton Hall
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Jeff Curtain, Sr., Georgetown
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Boris Pardo, Sr., Seton Hall
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Jeff Curtin, Sr., B, Georgetown
Greg Dalby, Jr., B, Notre Dame*
Ian Etherington, Jr., MF, Notre Dame
Matt Groenwald, Grad., MF, St. John’s*
Rodrigo Hildalgo, So., F, USF
Julius James, So., B, Connecticut
Sacha Kljestan, Jr., F, Seton Hall*
Nick LaBrocca, Jr., MF, Rutgers
Mpho Moloi, Sr., MF, Connecticut
Boris Pardo, Sr., GK, Seton Hall
Andre Schmid, Sr., F, St. John’s
Ricky Schramm, Jr., F, Georgetown
Keeyan Young, Sr., F, Pittsburgh
* - unanimous selection