LOUDONVILLE, NY – The Siena Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams were each projected to finish fourth according to their respective Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Polls which were revealed Tuesday night on MAAC.TV. Men’s soccer senior captain Milorad Sobot, and four members of the women’s team – senior captains Michele Tremblay and Madison Vasquez, junior back Amanda Holtzman, and sophomore back Hanna Longendyke – were named Preseason All-MAAC selections.
On the men’s side, defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Quinnipiac is the preseason favorite after receiving 113 points and seven of 11 first-place votes, to edge out two-time defending MAAC Tournament Champion Rider (110 points, three first-place votes) for the top spot. Monmouth is projected third with 95 points, followed closely by the Saints in fourth with 88 points and the final first-place vote.
Siena posted a 6-3-1 conference record to finish third in the MAAC last season, marking the program’s highest position in five seasons. Overall, the Saints achieved an 8-8-5 overall record after going unbeaten in 10 of their final 13 matches, and advanced to the MAAC Semifinals for the second straight season. Siena returns six starters and welcomes eight newcomers to this year’s squad.
Fairfield was picked a distant fifth in the MAAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 63 points, and is followed closely by Canisius (61), and Marist (60). Iona (48), Manhattan (39), Niagara (29), and Saint Peter’s (20) rounded out the 11-team poll.
The Bobcats led all schools by boasting five selections on the 13-member Preseason All-MAAC Team, while the Broncs added three including MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Jose Aguinaga.
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Sobot earned Second Team All-MAAC honors last fall. The Saints’ back both appeared in and started 20 of the team’s 21 matches, and led the squad with 1,887 minutes logged. A true, two-way weapon, Sobot added three goals for a total of six points.
Reigning MAAC Tournament Champion and four-time defending regular season champion Monmouth was the overwhelming favorite in the women’s preseason poll, receiving 120 points and 10 of 11 first-place votes. The rankings for second through fourth were tightly contested, with 2016 MAAC Runner-Up Quinnipiac receiving the other first-place vote and a total of 101 points, with Rider (96) and Siena (95) close behind.
The Saints finished second in the MAAC with a 7-3 record last season. Siena’s second place finish and seven league victories both tied program records. The Saints, which posted a 9-7-3 overall record and advanced to the MAAC Semifinals last season, are set to return nine starters, 90% of their scoring, and their entire goalkeeping corps this fall.
Marist (71 points) was a distant fifth in the MAAC Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and was followed by Canisius (57), Manhattan (53), Fairfield (51), Niagara (46), Iona (25), and Saint Peter’s (11) in the polling.
Siena tied Monmouth for the most Preseason All-MAAC selections with four honorees. The Hawks’ Madie Gibson was tabbed the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year.
A 2016 First Team All-MAAC selection and two-time MAAC Player of the Week, Tremblay started all 19 matches at midfield last season. The Goffstown, New Hampshire native ranked tallied 15 points, and ranked tied for third in the MAAC in game-winning goals (three), and tied for 10th in goals (six).
Named a Preseason All-MAAC selection for the second consecutive season, Vasquez also earned First Team All-MAAC honors last fall. Like Tremblay, the West Babylon, New York standout also started all 19 matches at midfield while logging 15 points in 2016, and ranked tied for eighth in the MAAC with five assists.
Tabbed a MAAC All-Rookie Team selection during the Saints’ championship season in 2015, Holtzman started in all 16 matches in which she appeared last year at outside back. The Avon, CT product is a key returnee for a Siena backfield which ranked second in the MAAC last season with a 0.96 team goals against average.
Backfield mate Longendyke earned MAAC All-Rookie Team acclaim as a freshman last season. The Hurley, New York native started all 19 matches at outside back this past fall, and scored a game-winning goal while also tying for eighth in the MAAC with five assists.
Both the Siena Men’s and Women’s Soccer regular seasons are fast approaching. The women kick off their 2017 season this Friday night at Seton Hall at 7 p.m., while the men open at Cal State Northridge next Friday, Aug. 25, at 10 p.m. ET.