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AU men’s soccer ranked seventh in Empire 8 preseason coaches’ poll
8/23/12

ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University men’s soccer team is picked to finish seventh in the Empire 8 Conference in 2012, according to the coaches’ preseason poll released Tuesday.

Alfred received a total of 16 points in the poll to finish just ahead of eighth-place St. John Fisher, which received 15 points.

Picked to finish first is the conference’s reigning champions, Stevens Institute of Technology, which earned all but on first-place vote from league coaches and garnered 49 total points, ahead of second-place Nazareth, which came in with 35 points, and third- and fourth-place Elmira and Ithaca, which tallied 33 and 32 points respectively.

Utica received 24 points and is ranked fifth in the poll, just ahead of sixth-place Houghton College, which received one first-place vote and earned 21 points. Houghton is in its first year in the Empire 8 and is not eligible to earn the automatic NCAA tournament bid that comes with a conference championship tournament title.

Alfred is coming off a 2011 season in which the Saxons went 7-8-2. AU was 1-5-0 in Empire 8 play, with its sole conference win coming at Fisher in the season finale. The Saxons open their 2012 season Friday, Aug. 31, against Medaille in the first round of the Oswego State Tournament. AU plays its home opener Sept. 5 against Pitt-Bradford and plays its Empire 8 opener Sept. 15 against visiting Elmira.