Men's Soccer Picked Eleventh

WVU's men's soccer team is facing an uphill rebuilding job according to the vote of conference coaches.

WVU (35 points) was picked 11th in the 13 team coference, ahead of Villanova (30) and Providence (15). The Mountianeers were only two points behind Pitt (37) for the tenth spot. For the third straight year, Connecticut was the pick to take the conference title.

Each big East coach votes for every team except his own, with 12 points given for a first-place vote, 11 for second, etc.

UConn, the defending regular season champion with a 9-1 conference record, earned 139 points in the poll and received eight first-place votes. The Huskies compiled a 15-5-2 record in 2001 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship under head coach Ray Reid.

St. John's took four first-place votes and 132 points to finish second in the preseason poll. The Red Storm went 17-3-3 last season en route to the NCAA College Cup national semifinals. SJU, under the guidance of head coach Dave Masur, went 6-1-3 in league play to finish in a tie for second place in 2001.

Notre Dame, under second-year head coach Bobby Clark, was picked to finish third after going 7-3 to tie for second place last season. The Fighting Irish finished the season 12-7 and earned a berth in the NCAA Championship.

Rutgers garnered the remaining first-place vote and rounds out the top four. Head coach Bob Reasso directed the Scarlet Knights to a 15-7-3 record and to the third round of the NCAA Championship. RU finished the 2001 regular season with a 6-3-1 BIG EAST record to tie for fourth place.

WVU did not manage to place any players on the preseason all conference team. Boston College senior forward Casey Schmidt was chosen as the 2002 Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while St. John's junior defender Chris Wingert was the choice for Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Notre Dame sophomore Chris Sawyer was voted as the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.

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