Gordon Selected To Repeat As CCC Champions

Gordon Selected To Repeat As CCC Champions




SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – After claiming the 2015 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's soccer title, Gordon looks poised to make another run as the Fighting Scots were picked first in the 2016 CCC men's soccer preseason coaches' poll.

The Fighting Scotts brought in 94 points and six of the possible 10 first place votes that were cast by the league's head men's soccer coaches.

The Fighting Scots grabbed their first CCC Championship since 2003 last season defeating top-seeded Endicott, 2-0, in the Conference final. Gordon would advance to Second Round of the NCAA Tournament before being ousted by Franklin & Marshall.

The Gulls will look to make a return to the CCC Championship game this year as they were selected second in the poll garnering 90 points and three first place votes. Wentworth claimed the final first place vote and collected 76 points for the third spot.

Rounding out the top-five were Western New England and Salve Regina who earned 67 and 60 points respectively.

Roger Williams (59 points), Nichols (41), Curry (30), the University of New England (19), Eastern Nazarene (14) close out this year's ledger in that order.

The men's soccer schedule gets underway on Thursday, Sept. 1 with five CCC teams in non-conference action. The conference schedule starts up on Sept. 10. The top eight teams in the 2016 regular season conference standings will qualify for the CCC Tournament, which starts with the quarterfinals on Saturday, Oct. 29 and concludes with the Conference Championship a week later on Nov. 5.

Click HERE to view the whole 2016 CCC men's soccer schedule.

 

2016 CCC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Gordon 94 (6)
2. Endicott
 90 (3)
3. Wentworth
 76 (1)
4. Western New England
 67
5. Salve Regina  60
6. Roger Williams
 59
7. Nichols 41
8. Curry 30
9. University of New England       
19
10. Eastern Nazarene 17

 

2016 CCC Men's Soccer Previews

1. Gordon

Head coach Derek Potteiger returns for his fourth season, but for the first time his Fighting Scots will enter the season as defending CCC champions. The Scots return a majority of its starting unit from a season ago and continue to bring in large recruiting classes with the possibility of instant impact. NSCAA All-New England players Caleb Cole (Coatesville, Pa.) and Ben Gradert (Hudson, Ohio) will expect to lead the Fighting Scots on offense and defense respectively, with Josh Spoonhour (Greencastle, Pa.) anchoring the unit in net. Gordon also returns a trio of players who were named All-CCC as underclassmen last season in Josh Cochran (Bellville, Ohio), Tyler Modzeleski (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Collin Surface (Tallmadge, Ohio).  

   Caleb Cole, GC

2. Endicott

Coming off a 2015 season that saw the Gulls boast a program-best 16-win season and secure the top seed heading into postseason play, Endicott finished as runner-up in the CCC Championship and will look to get back into title contention in 2016. Head coach Joe Calabrese, the reigning CCC Coach of the Year, is in his sixth year at the helm of a program that returns a handful of starters and brought in a talented crop of 13 new faces that will look to build upon the success of the team.

 
Leading the squad in 2016 will be the very decorated junior back in Carter Ocko (Danvers, Mass.), whose recent accolades include 2015 CCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, NSCAA Third Team All-American, NSCAA All-New England First Team, and ECAC New England First Team All-Star. All-CCC First Team goalkeeper and NSCAA All-New England Second Team honoree Nick Weinstein (Trumbull, Conn.) returns in goal for his senior season as a four-time CCC Defensive Player of the Week in 2015 on his way to matching the program's all-time program record for most career shutouts (13) that he will look to surpass in 2016. Additionally, Weinstein set single season program record in wins (16), save percentage (.864), goals against average (0.61), and most shutouts, 13, (including 822:19 consecutive minutes of a shutout streak spanning more than eight matches) last season. The Gulls kick off the 2016 campaign at home on Friday, Sept. 2 against Carthage in the North Shore Invitational and will use another difficult schedule that features five teams that appeared in the 2015 DIII Men's Soccer NCAA Tournament to prepare for a shot at bringing home the program's first-ever CCC title.


  Carter Ocko, EC

3. Wentworth

The 2015 Wentworth men's soccer team tied a program record for victories with 15 a season ago and advanced to the semifinal round of both the Commonwealth Coast Conference and ECAC Tournaments. The 15 wins were more than the previous four seasons combined and with 19 letter winners returning from a season ago – including three of the team's top five scorers – this year's edition of the Leopards look to make a run at their first CCC title since the 1996 campaign. Junior Emmett Basaca (San Diego, Calif.), who was both First Team All-CCC and Third Team All-New England as a sophomore, helps to anchor a defense which allowed just over a goal a game in 2015. Junior Michael Zendan (Charlotte, N.C.), a third team all-conference selection last season returns after scoring three goals and assisting on nine others for 15 points. His five assists in conference play tied him for the league lead and he was second overall with his nine assists. Sophomore Noah Martins (Dartmouth, Mass.) led the team in scoring as a freshman, scoring 24 points on nine goals and six assists.

 

   Emmett Basaca, WIT


4. Western New England

Western New England will be looking to build on a successful 2015 campaign in which the Golden Bears posted an 8-1 record in CCC play (11-9 overall) and earned the No. 2 seed in the CCC Tournament. Three All-CCC performers from last season's squad return in 2016, led by junior forward Troy Remillard (Palmer, Mass.), who earned Ffirst Team honors as a sophomore last fall.

Remillard emerged as one of the top players in the conference in 2015, ranking second in the CCC in goals (11) and third in points (24) during the regular season. Also back for Western New England is senior midfielder Neil Williams (Brewster, N.Y.), a Second Team All-CCC selection last season, and senior goalkeeper Kevin Strobel (Rockland, Mass.), a Third Team performer. Williams, Strobel and classmate Brandon Bolger (Saratoga, N.Y.) will serve as team captains for the Golden Bears in 2016.

Second-year head coach Devin O'Neill and Western New England will open their season on Saturday, Sept. 3 against Haverford College at the Brandeis Invitational. The Golden Bears open both the home and CCC portions of their schedule on Saturday, Sept. 10, when they host the University of New England at Suprenant Field. 


   Troy Remillard, WNE

5. Salve Regina

Two-time all-conference center back Steven Aston (Sherborn, Mass.) and the reigning co-Offensive Player of the Year Nolan Brady (Needham, Mass.) get the nod as captains for head coach Craig O'Rourke II in 2016. "Nolan will be clearly man-marked if not double-teamed by the nine other conference schools as well as non-league opponents," says O'Rourke. 

Also entering his senior year with plenty of talent is Evan Dudney (North Andover, Mass.), who along with aforementioned classmates and Michael Maurial (Washington, Conn.) and Matthew Swartz (Endwell, N.Y.) will deliver a leadership that galvanizes the Seahawk roster. 

A large and talented freshman class returns for its second full season including Matthew O'Donnell (Mars, Pa.) and Richie Leister (Navesink, N.J.), both earning significant minutes in 2015. O'Rourke anticipates immediate impact from newcomers Evan MacDonald and Christopher Anderson while his junior class is complete with role players who handle their roles well.


   
Nolan Brady, SRU

6. Roger Williams

After 22 seasons with Jim Cook at the helm, the Roger Williams men's soccer team stepped into a new era in 2015 under first-year head coach James Greenslit. The Hawks concluded the campaign with an 8-9-1 record, highlighted by a 3-2 double overtime win over NEWMAC runner-up MIT. RWU earned the No. 6 seed for the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament but bowed out in the CCC Quarterfinals to No. 3 Gordon. This season, the Hawks look to improve upon last year's finish and earn their way back into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. Roger Williams brings back 19 members from last year's team, including the top-two leading scorers from 2015, junior Sean Janson (four goals, four assists) and senior Trevor Sparda (two goals, five assists).

 
Trevor Sparda, RWU

7. Nichols

The Nichols men's soccer team failed to advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since the 2009 campaign last fall, finishing with a 7-12-0 mark. Sophomore Zachary Lemire (Lowell, Mass.) paced the squad with eight goals while senior Ryan Banker (Ashaway, R.I.) potted five and seniors David Melanson (Simsbury, Conn.) and junior Paul Sickinger (Tyngsboro, Mass.) each collected eight points. Only two of the 11 starters from the 2014 CCC Championship squad remain – Melanson and senior Tyler Brenner (Stuart, Fla.) – which will present ample opportunity to the newcomers.

 
Tyler Brenner, NC

8. Curry

Curry tenth-year head coach Peter Mendel and the Colonels return a young but experienced 2016 squad. Offensively, Curry returns sophomore forward Tristan Eckert (Weaverville, N.C.) who finished last season with 11 total points on four goals and three assists and junior Ben Silvia (Dartmouth, Mass.), returns from a season ending injury looking for a breakout year. Seniors Steven DePina (Stoughton, Mass.) and Roy Butlin (Milton, Mass.) will look to lead the midfield for the Colonels. Junior defenders Giancarlo Orsini (Watertown, Conn.) and Eric Miller (Hanover, Mass.) will anchor the backline, and senior goalkeeper Dan Johnson (Easton, Conn.) will look to continue his solid play in between the posts as the Colonels seek to move up the conference ranks.   

 
Giancarlo Orsini, CC

9. University of New England

The University of New England and fourth-year head coach Peter Ostergaard return five starters from the 2015 version of the squad. Senior defender Erik Holmqvist (Gothenburg, Sweden) is back as a two-time all-conference selection. Sophomore forward Dan Good (Hampden, Maine) led the team in goals last season.

 
Erik Holmqvist, UNE

10. Eastern Nazarene

Head coach Mark Bell begins his first season with the Lions. Eastern Nazarene posted an 8-9-1 overall record last fall. Rising junior Andrew Nelson (Burtonsville, Md.) paced the squad and ranked second in the conference with 11 goals while his 27 points were tops in the league. Nelson garnered All-CCC first team honors a year ago, becoming the first player in program history to earn first team accolades since 1995. Seniors Ian Carson (San Antonio, Texas), David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.), Jacob Mason (Southport, England), Jameson MacFarland (Jacksonville, Fla.), Peter Ostergren (Pasadena, Md.), and Elly Buford (Atlanta, Ga.) will all provide leadership. The Lions kick off the 2016 campaign Sept. 1 on the road at Lesley.

  
Andrew Nelson, ENC

 

Season previews contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

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