HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College men's soccer team was voted No. 5 in the South Atlantic Conference preseason coaches' poll, the league office announced today.
The Cobras – entering their first season in the SAC – are fresh off a 12-4-1 campaign in which they won the Conference Carolinas regular-season championship. They lost 10 players to graduation – including All-Americans James Sweeney, a goalkeeper, and Carlos Recinos, a forward. They also lost Conference Carolinas player of the year Niko Tirkkonen.
Jackson, a senior forward, played in 16 games for the Cobras last season. He scored five goals – two of which were game-winners – and made third team all-conference.
A junior defender, Bedoya was limited to just 13 games last year due to injury. He notched one assist and was named to the NSCAA All-Southeast first team for the second consecutive season.
Also a defender, Prendes, a senior, played in 14 matches and started 13 of them. He had two goals on the season, including one game-winner that sealed Coker's second consecutive regular-season conference title. Prendes' postseason awards included first team all-conference and second team all-region selections.
The 2013 season kicks off for the Cobras Sept. 7 at the Clayton State Tournament, where they will take on Tampa University. The home opener is Sept. 14 against Lincoln Memorial University.
Wingate took the top spot in the poll with 114 points and eight first-place votes. Lincoln Memorial was second with 104 points and one first-place vote, while Mars Hill finished third with 98 points and three first-place votes.
The entire preseason poll is as follows:
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.