Chants picked to repeat as Big South champs in 2015

ccusoc-gundermundssonThe Coastal Carolina University men’s soccer team has been voted first in the Big South Conference’s annual preseason poll, as voted by the league’s head men’s soccer coaches, it was announced Wednesday by the league office.

In addition, the coaches voted Chanticleer center back Tommy Gudmundsson the league’s co-Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

The Chanticleers, ranked No. 21 in the NSCAA preseason national rankings, received eight first-place votes and 97 total points to repeat as Big South champions in 2015.  Coastal Carolina has won three of the last four Big South regular season titles and has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the past five seasons.  The Chants are coming off a 16-6-1 season, including a 7-1-1 Big South record in 2014.

Winthrop was voted second in the poll with 81 points, despite not receiving any first-place votes. High Point (77 points) and Radford (75 points) placed third and fourth in the poll, respectively, with both receiving a first-place vote. Liberty was fifth with 56 points followed by Campbell in sixth with 50 points. Longwood garnered seventh-place with 35 points followed by Gardner-Webb (33 points), UNC Asheville (28 points) and Presbyterian College (16 points).

Gudmundsson (New Britain, Con.) was named an All-Big South second team and freshman team selection last season after helping the Chants to a 0.85 goals against average. In addition to his defensive prowess, Gudmundsson also proved to be a viable threat on set pieces as he netted six goals, tying for second most on the team. Gudmundsson received three first-place votes and 16 points in the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year voting, while High Points’ Yearwood received two first-place votes and 16 points.

Three of Coastal’s first four matches of the 2015 regular season come against ranked opponents. The Chanticleers start the season on the road at No. 24 Old Dominion (Aug. 28) then travel to VCU, which received votes in the NSCAA preseason poll, for an Aug. 30 tilt. Coastal opens its home schedule on Sept. 4 against No. 17 Charlotte before traveling to No. 11 Clemson on Aug. 27.

Fans can get an early look at the 2015 Chanticleers in exhibition play against No. 5 North Carolina on Sat., Aug. 22. The exhibition is slated for a 7 p.m. start at the CCU Soccer Stadium.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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