Chants hit practice pitch with high goals, tough schedule

The Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team earned the 13th-best ranking in the nation in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire preseason poll released on Tuesday.

Defending NCAA champion Indiana will begin the 2013 campaign where it finished the previous season – at No. 1 – while Maryland, Georgetown, North Carolina and Connecticut round of the nation’s top five programs.

The Chanticleers will play four teams ranked in the NSCAA initial top 25, including No. 4 North Carolina, No. 18 Wake Forest, No. 21 Charlotte and No. 24 VCU. The Chants open the season at Wake Forest (Aug. 30) then travel to North Carolina (Sept. 21) as part of the season-opening Carolina Nike Classic. Coastal then welcomes Charlotte (Sept. 6) to the CCU Soccer Field for the Chants’ home opener. VCU and Coastal square off in Richmond, Va., for the seventh game of the season on Sept. 21.

Tuesday marked the first full day of practice for the Chanticleers who opened preseason training on Monday with an abbreviate session followed by team meetings and a fitness test. The Chants spent the first session of Tuesday focusing on 1v1 drills. The second session also started with 1v1 drills and culminated in a restricted 11v11 exercise.

In addition to the NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Top 25 poll release on Tuesday, senior midfielder Pedro Ribeiro was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com preseason top 100 men’s college soccer player ranking.

Ribeiro, a 6-foot-3 Brazilian, was slotted as the 30th-best upperclassman in all of NCAA Division I soccer by the TopDrawerSoccer.com writers. Ribeiro, who was named a College Soccer News Preseason All-American last month, netted five goals and added 10 assists points last season despite missing four games with an injury.

In 2012 he notched a pair of game winners for the Chants, including a late goal in Coastal’s 1-0 win at Gardner-Webb. He also recorded a pair of goals in Coastal’s 3-nil NCAA Tournament First Round win over Elon.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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