August 13, 2009
Pacers Tabbed to Finish Eighth in Preseason PBC Coaches Poll
AUGUSTA, Ga. –
The University of South Carolina Aiken men’s soccer team was
chosen to finish eighth in the Peach Belt Conference in the
preseason coaches poll.
For only the second time in PBC history, two men’s soccer
teams stood atop the coaches preseason poll as both Francis Marion
and Lander were tied for the league lead in the poll released on
Thursday, Aug. 13. Francis Marion received four first-place votes
on its eight ballots for 56 points while Lander was ranked either
first or second on seven of their eight ballots, also for 56
points. This marks the first time since the inaugural season of
1992 that two teams have stood atop the preseason poll.
Clayton State finished third in the 2009 preseason poll while
newcomer Montevallo was fourth and UNC Pembroke fifth. North
Georgia was tabbed to finish sixth, Flagler was selected seventh,
while Georgia Southwestern was chosen to finish one spot lower than
the Pacers in ninth.
The PBC will have a new look for the 2009 season with the addition
of new members Flagler College and the University of Montevallo.
Flagler played as a DII independent last season with an 11-5-2
overall record. Montevallo was undefeated in Gulf South Conference
play last year with a 6-0 record, reaching the GSC Tournament
championship match and advancing to the NCAA Division II
USC Aiken 14th-year head coach Ike Ofoje has high expectations for
his 2009 Pacer squad.
“I feel that we underachieved a little last year,”
remarked Ofoje. “I am hoping that this year will be a little
different and be our year. We have the pieces in place and right
now everyone has the right mindset and is buying into our
USC Aiken concluded the 2008 regular season with a 5-11-1 record.
Last year’s squad upset second-seeded Clayton State in the
PBC Tournament quarterfinals to advance to the PBC Tournament
semifinals where they eventually bowed out to Lander.
USC Aiken begins their 2009 campaign at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29
in Mount Olive, N.C. against Conference Carolinas foe Mount Olive.
The Pacers will be looking to extend their two-match winning streak
over the Trojans. USC Aiken overall owns an 8-2-1 overall record
over the Trojans.
The Pacers will play their first home match of the 2009 season and
begin a four-game homestand in their next outing against Sunshine
State power Lynn at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. Lynn, who concluded
last season ranked eighth in NCAA Division II, is a national
powerhouse that is coached by John Rootes, who mentored Ofoje in
college at Southern New Hampshire University. The two led the
Penmen to the NCAA Division II National Championship in
t1. Francis Marion
3. Clayton State
5. UNC Pembroke
6. North Georgia
8. USC Aiken
9. Georgia Southwestern