Billikens Picked to Repeat as A-10 Champs
August 22, 2013
ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis, the reigning Atlantic 10 Conference men’s soccer champion, has been picked to win the 2013 A-10 title in balloting by the league’s head coaches. Additionally, a league-high six Billikens were honored on the A-10 preseason All-Conference teams.
Earning preseason All-Conference plaudits were sophomore midfielder David Graydon (Kildare, Ireland), junior forward Robert Kristo (St. Louis, Mo.), junior defender Anthony Manning (Mesquite, Texas) and senior midfielder Alex Sweetin (Overland Park, Kan.). Freshman goalkeeper David Andre (Rennes, France) and freshman midfielder/defender Joe Saad (San Diego, Calif.) were named to the A-10’s preseason All-Rookie team.
Head coach Mike McGinty, the 2012 A-10 Coach of the Year, returns 10 starters from last year’s club that finished 16-5 overall and 7-2 in A-10 play. The Billikens’ 16 wins were the most since the 2001 squad totaled 18 victories. After capturing the A-10 title, its second championship since joining the league in 2005, SLU earned a No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Billikens appear in every college soccer preseason poll, including a No. 10 ranking by College Soccer News and a No. 15 ranking by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Graydon earned first-team All-Region honors from the NSCAA and A-10 All-Rookie plaudits last year after leading the team with seven assists and starting all 21 games. Kristo, who yesterday was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, led the Bills in scoring a season ago with 27 points (11G, 5A).
Manning, also named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, was a key member of the Billikens’ defense that tied for first in the A-10 with nine shutouts and finished second in fewest goals allowed (0.86 per game). Sweetin was a second-team All-Conference pick last year after tying for third on the team with 17 points (6G, 5A).
Andre comes to SLU from the Rennais Football Club in France. He enrolled at SLU last spring, participated in spring camp and joined the Billikens on their trip to Madrid, Spain. Saad was a part of a California state championship team at St. Augustine.
The Billikens are in action this Saturday, Aug. 24, against No. 8 Akron in an exhibition match at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. SLU’s regular-season opener is slated for Friday, Aug. 30, against Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. at Hermann Stadium.
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