CONNECTICUT AND ST. JOHN’S PICKED TO WIN 2010 BIG EAST MEN’S SOCCER DIVISIONAL TITLES
- Louisville junior Colin Rolfe is unanimous All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selection
and the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year –
BIG EAST Championship moves to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Connecticut and St. John’s are picked as favorites in the 2010 BIG EAST preseason men’s soccer poll. The Huskies received 12 first-place votes and are picked to win the league’s Blue Division, while the Red Storm had eight first-place votes and sit atop the Red Division in the poll. Both programs advanced to the NCAA Championship last season. The votes were cast by the league’s 16 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Connecticut totaled 115 points and won the Blue Division regular-season crown last season with an 11-4-4 mark (8-2-1 BIG EAST). This year the Huskies will look to junior Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Tony Cascio to help stay atop the league. He accumulated a team-leading 19 points in 2009, including seven goals. UConn advanced to its 30th overall and 12th consecutive NCAA Championship.
St. John’s tallied 110 points in the Red Division polling. It is the second straight year the Red Storm have been picked to finish in first place. Last year, St. John’s completed the year in second at 9-3-9 (6-1-4 BIG EAST). The return of senior and All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selection Sverre Wegge Gundhus should help the Red Storm contend for their conference-record ninth BIG EAST Championship tournament crown in 2010. Red-shirt senior and All-BIG EAST Preseason pick Tadeu Terra also should help anchor the offense.
Led by BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, junior Aaron Maund, Notre Dame is picked second in the Blue Division behind UConn with 109 points, including four first-place votes. Maund was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection in 2009 and helped the Fighting Irish (11-8-4, 8-3-0 BIG EAST) win eight league games, tying for the most in school history. Notre Dame played for the BIG EAST Championship title for the second time in three years in 2009 and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the ninth straight season. Sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers also was named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team and is expected to steady the offense.
Louisville lands second in the Red Division behind St. John’s with 105 points, including five first-places votes. The Cardinals will be led by BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Colin Rolfe. The junior was a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team in 2009 as well as an NSCAA First Team All-America selection. Rolfe finished second in the conference both in goals with ten and points with 22. He scored half his goals in league games, while also adding two assists, placing him fourth in points in BIG EAST contests with 12. Rolfe also earns unanimous Preseason All-BIG EAST honors. The Cardinals are led by the 2009 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year under the direction of head coach Ken Lolla.
USF is picked third in the Red Division totaling 102 points, including three first-place votes. Steadied in net by BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Jeff Attinella, the Bulls (14-4-3, 6-3-2 BIG EAST) have one of the top players in the country. Named to the NSCAA First Team in 2009, Attinella led the league with 101 saves in 21 games last season. He also posted an 0.83 goals-against average, along with seven shutouts. In addition, the Bulls were selected for the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in the last five years. Attinella also was tabbed to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, along with red-shirt junior Bernardo Anor and senior Javed Mohammed. With three players on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, the Bulls have the most of any squad in the league.
West Virginia is third in the Blue Division with 88 points after finishing the 2009 campaign in third place. The Mountaineers (7-5-6, 6-3-2 BIG EAST) have All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selection Raymon Gaddis returning as one of eight starters back. In the past two seasons, the team has ranked in the top 15 nationally in goals-against average (12th with a 0.64 GAA in 2008 and eighth with a 0.61 mark in 2009).
Also named to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team is Seton Hall senior Brayan Martinez.
While the season kicks off Sept. 1, BIG EAST play begins on Sept. 25. The BIG EAST is the nation’s largest Division I men's soccer conference.
The 2010 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship is a 12-team single-elimination tournament. The top six teams in each division, seeded by Conference point total, qualify for the conference championship. First-round games will be held on Nov. 3, with the quarterfinals following on Nov. 6.
For the first time, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. will serve as host for the semifinals (Nov. 12) and championship (Nov. 14). Tickets will be available to Red Bull season ticket holders with a pre-sale opportunity on Aug. 17. General ticket sales begin on Aug. 20. Visit www.redbullarena.us or call 877.RB.SOCCER to place your order.
The semifinals will start at 5 p.m. ET and approximately 7:30 p.m. ET, while the title game is slated for noon, ET. The final three matches of the championship will be televised live on the CBS College Sports Network (CBS C). The semifinals also will be carried exclusively on CBS C, while the title game will be shown on numerous regional sports networks, including SportsNet NY (SNY). The title game also will be broadcast live nationally on CBS C beginning at noon, ET. The tournament champion receives the league’s automatic berth into the 48-team NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
2009 2009 BIG EAST
Blue Points Overall BIG EAST Regular Season Finish
1. Connecticut (12) 115 11-4-4 8-2-1 1st
2. Notre Dame (4) 109 11-8-4 8-3-0 2nd
3. West Virginia 88 7-5-6 6-3-2 3rd
4. Georgetown 72 9-8-2 6-5-0 4th
5. Providence 65 10-7-3 5-4-2 5th
6. Seton Hall 55 4-10-3 1-7-3 7th
7. Marquette 39 4-11-3 3-5-3 6th
8. Pittsburgh 25 2-13-2 1-9-1 8th
2009 2009 BIG EAST
Red Points Overall BIG EAST Regular Season Finish
1. St. John’s (8) 110 9-3-9 6-1-4 2nd
2. Louisville (5) 105 13-3-4 8-2-1 1st
3. USF (3) 102 14-4-3 6-3-2 3rd
4. Villanova 65 9-8-2 5-5-1 4th
5. Rutgers 64 9-10-0 5-6-0 6th
6. DePaul 44 8-9-3 5-6-0 5th
7. Syracuse 39 3-15-0 2-9-0 8th
7. Cincinnati 39 8-10-0 3-8-0 7th
2010 BIG EAST PRESEASON AWARD WINNERS
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Colin Rolfe, Jr., F, Louisville
Preseason Defensive Players of the Year
Aaron Maund, Jr., D, Notre Dame
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
2010 ALL-BIG EAST PRESEASON TEAM
Jeff Attinella, Sr., GK, USF
Bernardo Anor, R-Jr., M, USF
Tony Cascio, Jr., M, Connecticut
Raymon Gaddis, Jr., D, West Virginia
Brayan Martinez, Sr., F/M, Seton Hall
Aaron Maund, Jr., D, Notre Dame
Javed Mohammed, Sr., D, USF
Dillon Powers, So., M, Notre Dame
*Colin Rolfe, Jr., F, Louisville
Tadeu Terra, R-Sr., M, St. John’s
Sverre Wegge Gundhus, Sr., F/M, St. John’s
* - unanimous selection