FORT MYERS, Fla. – In the preseason release of TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Tournament 48 on Monday, the FGCU men’s soccer team was tabbed the Atlantic Sun Conference favorite to win the league’s automatic berth and ranked the program No. 42 in the country entering the season.
The Eagles were the lone member of the A-Sun to appear in the rankings. Additionally, eight of the nine non-conference opponents on FGCU’s 2012 schedule were selected to the preseason Tournament 48 in No. 4 Akron (MAC), No. 12 USF (BIG EAST), No. 16 Georgetown (BIG EAST), No. 25 Furman (Southern), No. 26 UCF (C-USA), No. 31 South Carolina (C-USA), No. 40 Iona (MAAC) and No. 46 Bucknell (Patriot League).
The Tournament 48 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. Thus, some college soccer teams will not be included that are included in other rankings lists.
With three first-place votes, the Green and Blue were predicted to finish second in the standings by the league head coaches behind 2011 A-Sun Tournament runner-up ETSU, which received the remaining six votes. Returning from the program’s most historic season to date, senior midfielder Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), sophomore forward Xavier Silva (Boca Raton, Fla./ North Broward Preparatory School) and sophomore defender Federico Crespo (Heredia, Costa Rica/St. Paul College/Universidad Latina) were each named to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference team.
Finishing the season with a 12-6-2 overall record, the Eagles entered the 2011 A-Sun Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after posting a 7-1 mark in league action. Having already secured back-to-back regular season championships, the Green and Blue went on to claim their first-ever A-Sun Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in the program’s first season of eligibility.
Welcoming back 15 players from last year’s championship squad, the Eagles open the season with a trip to Northeast Ohio to face 2010 National Champion No. 4 Akron on August 24 at 7:30 p.m. The 2012 home opener with Bucknell is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 2 at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
FGCU season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. An adult ticket is $30, while a youth (3-12 years) ticket is $15. Single game tickets can also be bought at $6 for adults and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can get in for $3 a person. FGCU students and faculty/staff get in free with their student ID.
New to the 2012 season, FGCU Athletics is excited to offer the Half-Price Sunday Soccer Punch Pass for both adults and youths. This offer is available now through the ticket office and will be available through September 16. They will also be on sale at the ticket office on soccer gamedays.