August 31, 2009

Farmingdale State Earns Nod as Skyline Conference Preseason Favorite in Men's Soccer

Farmingdale State Earns Nod as Skyline Conference Preseason Favorite in Men's Soccer

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – Coming off one of its most successful seasons at the Division III level, Farmingdale State College has been selected as the Skyline Conference preseason favorite in men's soccer. After finishing first during the regular season a year ago, the Rams fell to St. Joseph's in the Skyline championship game. With a number of key players returning, Farmingdale is ready to make another run at the conference title.

Last season, Farmingdale State went 13-7-1 overall and 8-1 in Skyline Conference play. The Rams advanced to the semifinals of the ECAC Metro Championship before being knocked off by William Paterson in penalty kicks. With four all-conference players returning, head coach Chuck Schimpf's squad will clearly be one of the Skyline's top teams. At 6-4, junior forward Ryan Paul (21 goals in 22 games) was tough for opponents to contain last season and should be an offensive force again this season. Senior goalkeeper Patrick Gubbins and junior defender Mat Arthurs, also All-Skyline selections, anchor an experienced defense.

Despite starting 0-6 last season and battling a rash of injuries, St. Joseph's rebounded to capture its first Skyline title and NCAA bid in program history. Head coach Gary Smith, entering his 24th season, did one of his best jobs with a patchwork squad last year, but with a healthy squad, the Golden Eagles won't give up their title without a fight. Two years ago, Adam Rodgers and Stephan Zaech ranked as one of the top scoring duos in the nation with 20 and 23 goals respectively. Last season they combined for nine goals with both missing a number of games. Julian Barreiros and Scott Reduto (7 goals each) emerged as freshmen last season, earning All-Skyline honors. All-conference junior defender K.J. LaBarbera and senior goalkeeper Mike Dougherty anchor the St. Joseph's defense.

Last season Old Westbury was the only team to knock off Farmingdale State during Skyline regular-season play. The Panthers finished fifth during the regular season before advancing to the semifinals of the Skyline tournament. Senior midfielder/forward Fabian Santibanez earned Skyline Player of the Year honors last season after recording 27 points on 10 goals and seven assists.

Mount Saint Mary and Bard were picked fourth and fifth respectively. The Mount had a strong season, finishing third in the conference with a 7-2 record a year ago. The Blue Knights had a balanced offensive attack last season with eight players scoring at least two goals. Bard moved up to fourth last season after finishing eighth in 2007. Sophomore forward Jacob Hartog was selected as the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year last season after leading the Raptors with 12 goals and 27 points.

SKYLINE CONFERENCE MEN’S SOCCER
2009 PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL


1. Farmingdale State (9) 81
2. St. Joseph's-L.I. (1) 72
3. Old Westbury 62
4. Mount Saint Mary 53
5. Bard 50
6. Maritime 43
7. Purchase 37
8. Mount Saint Vincent 20
9. Polytechnic 19
10. Yeshiva 10

(first-place votes in parentheses)

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