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GNAC Releases Men’s Soccer Pre-Season Poll

GNAC Releases Men’s Soccer Pre-Season Poll

Albertus Magnus Edges Saint Joseph's (ME) in Men's Soccer Pre-Season Poll

BOSTON, Mass. – Separated by just two points, the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team edged out Saint Joseph's College (ME) to take the top spot in the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Pre-Season Poll. With six first place votes and 113 points the Falcons have been picked first after last season's disappointing exit in the GNAC Semifinals while the Monks finished with 111 points and five first place votes to come in a close second after capturing the 2011 GNAC tournament championship. Norwich University rounded out the top three with a solid showing of 100 points while Lasell College ranked fourth overall with 85 points.

The Albertus Magnus men's soccer team is coming off its most successful season in program history as the Falcons earned a program-record 17 wins in 2011, while finishing the regular season with a 10-0 record in GNAC play. This season, the Falcons will look to fill the void left by the College's first-ever All-American in Jamal Howard, who was also named the 2011 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year. Stephen Zapata, who led the Nation in assists in 2011 and was named to the 2011 GNAC All-Conference First Team, will lead a veteran group, headlined by defenders Nick Hamasian and Chris Long along with junior goalkeeper Donato Piroscafo. Those three individuals were also named to the GNAC All-Conference First Team in 2011. Lindsley Barrett returns to the squad as well as he was named the GNAC's 2011 Rookie of the Year.

Saint Joseph's College (ME) returns junior forward Zach Johnson who finished the 2011 season with a team-high 17 goals while ranking second among conference leaders. Junior midfielder Ross Suleski also returns after posting nine assists a year ago to rank second in the GNAC. The Monks welcome 12 freshman to their 2012 roster and will look to transition some young talent with the help of the veteran returners from last year's championship squad. One key returner include junior goalkeeper Kenny Grade who posted a league-low 1.02 goals against average last year.

Norwich returns 10 of 11 starters from 2011 when they went 12-10 reaching the GNAC Final and the ECAC New England semi-final. Key returners include junior Garrett Shufelt who finished the 2011 campaign with 21 points on eight goals and five assists to lead the Cadets while ranking eighth overall in the GNAC. Head Coach Kyle Dezotell has high hopes in Northfield for another competitive GNAC season.
Lasell is seeking to redeem itself after an under achieving 2011 season that saw the Lasers finish at 9-6-3 for a GNAC 5th place finish; its lowest league placing in the history of the program. The 2012 season will see 17 returning players, and outstanding recruiting class, and several key transfers who will all vie for precious roster spots.

Emerson College ranked fifth in the poll with 78 points while Emmanuel College ranked sixth with 65 points for their highest pre-season ranking to date. Suffolk University tallied 52 points in seventh place while Mount Ida College was just behind them in eighth with 50 points. Johnson & Wales University collected 41 points to finish the poll in the ninth spot. Rounding out the poll were Anna Maria College and Rivier University with 22 and 14 points, respectively.

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III conference made up of 13 institutions with nine associate members. In 2012-13, the GNAC will sponsor championships in 17 sports for men and women. The GNAC also enjoys outstanding professional partnerships with Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Division, Doubletree Hotels, Fenway Printers, New Balance, Reading Trophy and Presto Sports.

2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Pre-Season Coaches' Poll



First Place

Total Points


Albertus Magnus College




Saint Joseph's College (ME)




Norwich University




Lasell College




Emerson College




Emmanuel College




Suffolk University




Mount Ida College




Johnson & Wales University




Anna Maria College




Rivier University