Aug. 15, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C.–Head coach Mark Berson’s South Carolina men’s soccer team will start this season ranked in the top 25. The Gamecocks are No. 24 in the National Soccer Coaches Association Preseason Poll released on Tuesday.
The Gamecocks are coming off a 12-7-2 season that saw them win the Conference USA Tournament Championship and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in school history. Carolina returns eight starters and 16 letterwinners and a weclomes a highly-touted freshman class to Columbia in 2006. Berson begins his 29th season at South Carolina with 391 wins, the fifth-most among active Division I coaches.
Defending national champion Maryland will start the year at No. 1. Fellow Conference USA team SMU opens at No. 7. South Carolina is one of three teams to appear in the preseason poll that were not ranked in the final 2005 poll, joining No. 18 South Florida and No. 25 Washington.
The Garnet and Black will kick off the 2006 campaign on Friday, Aug. 25, in Columbia against No. 5 Clemson. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at Stone Stadium.
NSCAA Presason Poll (August 15, 2006)Rank School 1 University of Maryland2 University of Connecticut3 University of New Mexico4 University of Virginia5 University of North Carolina5 Clemson University7 Southern Methodist University8 Creighton University9 University of Akron10 UCLA11 University of California12 Indiana University13 Penn State University14 Duke University15 University of Notre Dame16 Wake Forest University17 St. John's University18 University of South Florida19 Cal State Northridge20 Santa Clara University21 UNC Greensboro22 UC Santa Barbara23 Old Dominion University24 University of South Carolina25 University of Washington
(2005 Final Record and Rank Shown)