ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum University men's soccer team was picked to finish seventh in the South Atlantic Conference in a poll of the league's 11 head coaches, the SAC office announced Monday.
The Pioneers finished 2-8-6 overall last season and tied for eighth in the SAC with a 2-4-4 league record. Six of the Pioneers' eight losses were by one goal, and Tusculum trailed by more than one goal in just 48 of the 1566 minutes played last year.
Cervantes was named honorable mention All-SAC as a freshman as he finished second on the team in points with seven, and was tied for second with three goals in 16 matches. The native of Cancun, Mexico was named SAC Player of the Week after scoring two goals in a 3-1 win at Catawba on Oct. 21 and adding a goal and an assist in a 2-2 draw with Carson-Newman on Oct. 18.
Charkoutsakis missed five games late in the season due to injury after being named first-team preseason All-SAC. The Heraklion, Greece native was a second-team All-SAC in 2016 after playing every second for the Pioneers as they won the program's sixth SAC tournament championship and appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Wingate received nine of 11 first-place votes to take the top spot in the poll with 119 points, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne with one first-place vote and 107 points, and a tie for third between Lincoln Memorial (one first-place vote) and Carson-Newman with 96 points each. Queens is ranked fifth with 80 points, followed by Anderson in sixth with 67 points and Tusculum with 65 points. Newberry is eighth with 61 points, and the last three spots are filled by Coker (50 points), Mars Hill (46 points) and Catawba (31 points).
The Pioneers kick off the 2018 season on Friday, August 31 at 7:30 p.m. against Emmanuel at Pioneer Field.
SAC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk School (1st), Pts
1. Wingate (9), 119
2. Lenoir-Rhyne (1), 107
t3 Lincoln Memorial (1), 96
t3 Carson-Newman, 96
5. Queens, 80
6. Anderson, 67
7. TUSCULUM, 65
8. Newberry, 61
9. Coker, 50
10 Mars Hill, 46
11 Catawba, 31
2018 SAC Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference
F – Ignacio de Goya, Lenoir-Rhyne
F – Edmundo Robinson, Queens
F – Elliot Cutts, Wingate
F – Tobias Solem Karlsen, Carson-Newman
MF – Mattia Ditommaso, Wingate
MF – Florian Simon, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Cameron Emerson, Anderson
MF – Victor Cascon, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Emil Tansinda, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Oscar Mitchell, Mars Hill
D – Michael Hornsby, Queens
D – Samuel Jenkins, Carson-Newman
GK – Pablo Jara, Wingate
F – Ashley Kelynack, Carson-Newman
F – Edgar Cervantes, Tusculum
F – Aladdin Elfares, Coker
F – Victor Peres, Lincoln Memorial
MF – Felipe de Sousa, Lincoln Memorial
MF – Fabrizio Bucco, Newberry
MF – Cam Macer, Mars Hill
MF – Liam Doyle, Queens
D – Christoph Willemsen, Lincoln Memorial
D – Jonny Le Quesne, Carson-Newman
D – Robbie Jenkinson, Coker
D – Georgios Charkoutsakis, Tusculum
GK – Twan Verweij, Carson-Newman