Men's Soccer Tabbed Eighth in NE-10 Preseason Poll

Junior forward Adam Branco led the team with 11 goals and 26 points in 2015. 

Skyhawks looking to best ninth-place finish from 2015

Northeast-10 Men's Soccer Preseason Poll Release

EASTON, Mass. (August 24, 2016) – The Stonehill College men's soccer program has been picked to finish eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference by the league's 14 head coaches, the league announced Tuesday morning.

Four-time defending NE-10 champion Southern New Hampshire University has been selected as the favorite, receiving 167 points and 12 of the 14 first-place votes, while Adelphi was picked second with 154 points and the remaining first-place tallies. Merrimack College (146 points), Le Moyne College (127) and Southern Connecticut State University (126) landed in spots three to five, while Bentley University was voted sixth with 111 points. Franklin Pierce University (87) nudged Stonehill (84) for seventh place, as College of Saint Rose (75) and Saint Michael's College (67) round out the top-10 in the poll.

Stonehill aims to make a return to the Northeast-10 tournament for the second time in three years and build on a 2015 season, which it posted a record of 7-8-2, including four wins in conference play, to finish ninth in the NE-10 standings. Head coach Jim Reddish, the 2014 NE-10 Coach of the Year, returns five starters for his ninth season at the helm of his alma mater.

Sophomore Patrick Doherty was one of five players last year to start all 17 matches. 

Junior forward Adam Branco (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck), an All-NE-10 second team selection and sophomore Patrick Doherty (West Milford, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional), an NE-10 All-Rookie team pick, headline the list of returning starters. Branco, who received Stonehill's "Breakout Sophomore" student-athlete award in the spring, tied for second in the conference with 11 goals, including two game-winners, and fifth in scoring with 26 points. Junior midfielder Connor O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y./Guilderland Central) was third on the team with six points on one goal and four assists during his sophomore campaign while starting 13 of the 17 matches of the season.

Midfield will be anchored by sophomores Justin Brehm (Latham, N.Y./Shaker) and Matt Mesiti (Albany, N.Y./Guilderland Central), and Matthew Gallo (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) and Doherty will protect the back field. Reddish welcomes ten freshman to the squad this season and are expected to put in valuable playing time.

Stonehill opens its 2016 campaign on Friday, September 2 at Saint Anselm College in the fourth annual Catholic Cup, hosted by the Hawks in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks play their first four contests on the road before returning home to Skyhawk Field on Saturday, September 17 for its second NE-10 match-up of the season against Franklin Pierce University, which is slotted for 11 a.m.

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2016 Northeast-10 Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. So. New Hampshire - 167 (12)
2. Adelphi - 154 (2)
3. Merrimack - 146
4. Le Moyne - 127
5. So. Connecticut - 126
6. Bentley - 111
7. Franklin Pierce - 87
8. Stonehill - 84
9. Saint Rose - 75
10. Saint Michael's - 67
11. American International - 44
12. Assumption - 42
13. New Haven - 30
14. Saint Anselm - 14
(#) – indicates first-place votes