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Messiah Men's Soccer Elected Commonwealth Favorite
Posted: 8/24/2011
Men's Soccer sits at #1 in the Commonwealth to start the 2011 season. The Falcons hope to celebrate a fifth straight conference championship later this year.

Grantham, PA — The result of the Commonwealth Conference preseason poll is in: the Falcons are the favorite once again (Video).

Messiah Men's Soccer stands atop the preseason poll, having been given the nod as the favorite among the competition. The team will look to repeat as Commonwealth Champions for the fifth straight time.

To Falcon fans in Grantham and around the world, such poll results may seem like “business as usual" for Coach Brad McCarty's squad. After all, the men’s team is also coming off their third straight Division III National Championship and eighth in the last eleven years. It is apparent that within Commonwealth and the NCAA, Messiah has been a steady force.

Even still, the Commonwealth vote speaks volumes to the consistency demonstrated in the recruiting and reloading of the program. Once again, the program hopes to benefit from a talented group of newcomers, who themselves hope will be future champions of the blue and white.

This season, the Falcons return 19 total players and seven starters from the 2010 squad that finished with an overall record of 23-1 and defeated Lynchburg College in a thrilling 2-1 OT victory in the Championship game.

The 2011 team returns four All-Commonwealth players, led by senior forward Danny Thompson. He will be joined as team captain with fellow seniors Tom Renko and Sam Woodworth. They will look to mentor a strong recruiting class that looks to contribute to the continued success of the Falcon program. Of the seven new faces on the roster, five earned all-state recognition during their prep careers, while three were NSCAA All-Region players. McCarty, in his third season as head coach, will seek to lead the program to their ninth National Championship crown in the past twelve years.

Messiah will open the season on Friday, Sept. 2 against Ohio Wesleyan University (Oh.), a quarterfinalist from the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship. A day later, Messiah will oppose Hiram College (Oh.) before returning home to Grantham, Pa., to host Haverford College (Pa.) on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

2011 Commonwealth Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
1. Messiah, 49 pts. (8)
2. Elizabethtown, 43 pts.
3. Arcadia, 35 pts.
4. Lebanon Valley, 31 pts.
5. Widener, 24 pts.
6. Alvernia, 16 pts.
7. Albright, 15 pts.
8. Lycoming, 11 pts.