CONWAY, NC Coastal Carolina's men's soccer program has earned preseason recognition for the first time in the program's history this season. The Chanticleers enter the 2003 campaign ranked 20th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and 22nd by College Soccer News (CSN).
"What it means for a 'mid-major' school to be ranked ahead of a lot of big name schools, like Duke, South Carolina and North Carolina, says a lot about the kind of season we had last year," Head Coach Shaun Docking said. "It is a great compliment to the players that have been here over the last several in helping us build Coastal Carolina into a nationally-ranked squad."
Coastal has also put together one of the toughest schedules in school history as the Chants look to make their third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament., taking on four teams with preseason rankings. CCU played Wake Forest, who is ranked fourth by CSN and eighth by the NSCAA, in their opening exhibition, Aug. 23 in Winston-Salem. In the regular season, Coastal will then take on three teams ranked in preseason polls - Furman (ninth by CSN and 13th by NSCAA), Clemson (seventh by NSCAA and 13th by CSN), and Bradley 30th by CSN.
CCU comes off last season's 19-3-2 record and its second-straight NCAA appearance, losing to Clemson on penalty kicks in the second round. Coastal opens the 2003 regular season hosting UNC Greensboro, Aug. 30 at CCU Soccer Field at 7 p.m.