LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – After earning the first Skyline Conference Tournament berth in program history in 2006, Farmingdale State College has been selected as the Skyline Conference preseason favorite in men’s soccer in a vote of the league’s head coaches. The Rams lost just one senior and return an experienced group of players as they take aim at their first NCAA Tournament bid.
The close voting in the poll indicated that the coaches expect a competitive conference season. The top four teams in the poll each received at least one first-place vote. St. Joseph’s College was picked second, Mount Saint Mary was voted third and Skyline newcomer Bard was picked fourth.
Farmingdale State has enjoyed a steady climb in the Skyline Conference standings during the past three years. After a ninth-place finish in 2004, head coach Chuck Schimpf led his squad to a sixth-place finish in 2005 followed by a fourth-place finish and a Skyline Tournament berth last season. The Rams are led by senior forward Andrew Whilby, a First Team All-Skyline Conference and Third Team All-NSCAA Metro Region selection. Whilby ranked fourth in the conference in scoring with 13 goals last season. Carlos Proano, a Second Team All-Skyline selection last year was the only senior on the squad last season.
Veteran head coach Gary Smith has St. Joseph’s College poised for a strong season. Sophomore midfielder Adam Rogers exploded onto the scene as a rookie last season by scoring a conference-leading 18 goals in 18 games. He was a Second Team All-Skyline selection as a freshman.
Mount Saint Mary finished strong by winning five of its last seven games last season. The Blue Knights finished just out of the playoff picture with a 10-8-1 overall record and a 4-4-1 record in Skyline play. Mount Saint Mary had 12 different players score goals last season including six players with at least three goals.
Skyline newcomer Bard went 12-6-1 overall and 6-4 as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference last season. The Raptors knocked off top-seeded Villa Julie in the NEAC semifinals before falling short against Chestnut Hill in the championship.
1. Farmingdale State (5) 75
2. St. Joseph’s-L.I. (2) 70
3. Mount Saint Mary (2) 66
4. Bard (1) 59
5. Old Westbury 51
6. Maritime 40
7. Mount Saint Vincent 34
8. Purchase 27
9. Polytechnic 18
10. Yeshiva 10
(first-place votes in parentheses)