KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Following a record-setting campaign in 2016, the FGCU men’s soccer team will begin the 2017 season ranked #23 in the nation as the Eagles cracked the top 25 of the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll.
Formerly the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America), the organization re-branded itself earlier this week and will now be called the United Soccer Coaches. While there are several prominent and respected national polls, the United Soccer Coaches ranking is the only official poll the NCAA recognizes.
It marks the fourth-straight season that FGCU has been nationally ranked, but the first time in program history the Green and Blue have received a spot in the United Soccer Coaches (or NSCAA) Preseason Poll. The Eagles finished last year #20 in the NSCAA Poll after being ranked for the final nine weeks of the season and climbing to a program-best #11 in mid-October.
“It’s certainly a tremendous honor and recognition to be listed among the best programs in the nation,” said FGCU first-year head coach Jesse Cormier. “It’s not only great for our program, but it’s wonderful recognition for the athletic department, the university and Southwest Florida as a whole. But our guys understand there is a long season ahead of us, and if we stay focused on our goals and playing our brand of soccer then everything else will fall into place.”
FGCU is the only ASUN Conference member ranked in the preseason poll. The Eagles will commence their 2017 schedule with a marquee matchup as they travel to Colorado to take on defending College Cup participant Denver (Aug. 25), which is ranked #3 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll.
FGCU led the country in nearly every offensive category a season ago, including goals with 62 – nine more than any other team. The Eagles return nearly every player from that team, including national goals (22) and points (49) leader Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/UE Cornella/CE L’Hospitalet), a First Team All-American and one of three finalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy – college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman.
The program reached record heights last season as the Eagles secured a program-record 14 wins as part of a 14-4-3 overall record. Included in that victory total was a program-best 10-match winning streak in the middle of the season.
Since the program’s first two seasons in 2007 and 2008, FGCU has posted a winning record each of the past eight years, including double-figure victory totals in half of those campaigns. All-time, the Eagles are 95-63-24 (.588) in 10 seasons, including a dominant 52-18-7 (.721) record in ASUN contests. FGCU has produced six professional players and 63 ASUN All-Conference selections. In just six years of D-I postseason eligibility, FGCU has won four ASUN Tournament championships and made four NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 – and won an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season championships from 2010-15.
FGCU NATIONAL RANKING HISTORY
10/5/2010: #25 Soccer America
10/12/2010: #24 Soccer America
10/14/2010: #24 Top Drawer Soccer
10/19/2010: #21 Soccer America
10/26/2010: #23 Soccer America
11/2/2010: #19 Soccer America
11/9/2010: #19 Soccer America
11/16/2010: #20 Soccer America (Final Poll)
8/2/2011: #14 Goal.com (Preseason Poll)
8/30/2011: #22 Goal.com
9/27/2011: #25 Goal.com
9/9/2014: #24 NSCAA and Soccer America
8/31/2015: #19 Top Drawer Soccer
10/13/2015: #22 Top Drawer Soccer
10/20/2015: #22 Top Drawer Soccer
9/27/2016: #15 NSCAA
10/4/2016: #12 NSCAA
10/11/2016: #12 NSCAA
10/18/2016: #11 NSCAA
10/25/2016: #20 NSCAA
11/1/2016: #22 NSCAA
11/8/2016: #21 NSCAA
11/15/2016: #18 NSCAA
12/13/2016: #20 NSCAA (Final Poll)
UNITED SOCCER COACHES PRESEASON RANKING
2) Wake Forest
4) North Carolina
10) Notre Dame
17) Virginia Tech
19) Coastal Carolina
20) New Mexico
22) Michigan State
For up-to-the minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer and YouTube /FGCUAthletics.
HEAD COACH JESSE CORMIER
Jesse Cormier was hired in January 2017 to become just the 2nd head coach in program history. The head coach at Vermont for the previous 13 seasons, Cormier won 14 games with the Catamounts in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. During his time with Vermont, Cormier guided the program to the America East Tournament in 12 of 13 seasons, making five title game appearances, winning two tournament crowns, claiming a regular-season championship and advancing to three NCAA tournaments, including a pair of Second Round appearances. Cormier has a 114-89-47 (.550 winning percentage) overall record as a head coach.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.