Panthers gearing up for 2017 campaign
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's soccer team was picked to finish seventh in the Little East Conference (LEC) in 2017, after the league released its annual preseason coaches' poll.
The University of Massachusetts Boston was selected as the preseason favorites by the eight LEC coaches, as the Beacons took home six of the eight first place votes for a total of 48 points. Plymouth State, which ended last fall at 5-9-2, secured 19 points.
Head coach Rob Wright, entering his 16th season, has liked what he's seen thus far. "We've had a strong preseason. The guys look fit and motivated and the standards set by the captains has been excellent so far."
Leading the Panthers will be senior forward Nick Rutherford (Sydney, Australia), PSU's leading scorer each of the last three seasons. The 2016 First Team Academic All-American broke out last fall with 10 goals and eight assists (28 points) to move into a tie for ninth place on the program's career assists leaderboard.
Joining Rutherford as a co-captain is junior Dan Shaw (Winchester, England). Shaw was the second leading scorer last fall, tallying five goals as a defenseman.
| 2017 Season Preview
Wright also expects to see a number of newcomers challenge for spots right from the start, most notably freshman goalie Linus Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden), the younger brother of former three-year captain and standout goalkeeper Felix Lindeberg '16. "We are excited to add Linus to the squad," said Wright. "He is familiar with the program and while we feel confident that he will step into his brother's shoes, he is an excellent goalkeeper in his own right. Returner Jimmy Mansour (Auburn, N.H.) and first-year Owen Caggiano (Sandwich, Mass.) will offer us depth in the goalkeeper position."
The Panthers open the season on Friday, Sept. 1 at Salem State, before hosting New England College in their home-opener on Sunday, Sept. 3 (4:00 p.m.). LEC play begins Saturday, Sept. 16 at UMass Dartmouth.
The top four teams in the final regular season standings will compete for the 2017 Little East Men's Soccer Championship, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
"We're hoping to find our feet quickly and get back to our 2015 conference championship form," added Wright.
2017 LEC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
(First Place Votes in Parentheses)
|1.||UMass Boston (6)||48 points|
|2.||Rhode Island College (1)||40 points|
|3.||Eastern Connecticut State (1)||39 points|
|4.||Western Connecticut State||25 points|
|5.||UMass Dartmouth||22 points|
|6.||Keene State||21 points|
||Plymouth State||19 points
|8.||Southern Maine||7 points|
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