August 16, 2016
LIU Brooklyn men tabbed to win Northeast Conference
SOMERSET, N.J. - Reigning Northeast Conference regular-season and tournament champion LIU Brooklyn was named the pre-season favorite to repeat in men's soccer, it was announced by the league Tuesday.
The Blackbirds received six of a possible eight first-place votes and is picked to finish ahead of Saint Francis University (two first-place votes) and borough-rival St. Francis Brooklyn. Fairleigh Dickson was ranked seventh.
Last season LIU was chosen seventh in the preseason poll before putting together one of the top regular seasons in conference history. The Blackbirds became the third team in league history to go undefeated and untied through league play (7-0-0) and went on to earn the NEC Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Division I Tournament. LIU Brooklyn enters the season on a 13-match unbeaten streak, the second-longest current streak in the NCAA; Georgetown has the longest.
One of the keys to last season's performance was a stellar freshman group that included five members of the NEC's All-Rookie team. All of those players return and are expected to play large roles this season. That includes one half of the starting backline in sophomores Erik Wahlin and Filip Nordstrom. Wahlin was a rock at one central defender spot, starting 19 matches, while Nordstrom also got the nod for 19 starts and was a menace on the overlap from his right fullback position.
LIU Brooklyn will open the season at Siena College Friday, Aug. 26 at Siena. The Blackbirds will play their first five games away from home before hosting Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament champion Rider at LIU Field on Friday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m.
NEC men's soccer pre-season poll
1. LIU Brooklyn (6)
2. Saint Francis U (2)
3. St. Francis Brooklyn
4. Central Connecticut
-- Robert Morris
7. Fairleigh Dickinson
8. Sacred Heart