DURHAM, N.H.- The University of New Hampshire men’s soccer team was selected fourth in the America East preseason poll. Led by 2006 America East Coaching Staff of the Year and 2006 America East Striker and Rookie of the Year Chris Banks (Westborough, Mass.), the men’s squad received 38 points (coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team).

The Wildcats posted a 12-5-3 overall record last season including 6-2-1 in the America East.  The team, whose record was its best since 1994, made it to the semifinals of the conference tournament before it fell to No. 2 University of Vermont, 1-0. Banks, the league’s top scorer a year ago, will pace the Wildcat offense, while second-team all-conference defender senior John Bergqvist (Hollviken, Sweden) will anchor the New Hampshire defense.

For the second-straight season, Binghamton was narrowly selected to repeat, as the Bearcats are the America East defending champions. Binghamton received three first-place votes and 54 points, while Boston University gathered two first-place votes and 53 points. Vermont, with three first-place votes and 52 points, round out the top three.

Stony Brook (33 points) was chosen to finish behind the Wildcats. Hartford (30) placed sixth, while UMBC (29) garnered the ninth and final first-place vote and is slated seventh. Albany (23) and Maine (11) round out the nine-team poll field.

The Wildcats open-up the season at the Nike Portland Invitational on Aug. 31, playing Washington and host-school, Portland on Sept. 2. The squad will travel to Maine on Oct. 6 to face the Black Bears in the first conference game of the season. The top six teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship, which is set to begin Nov. 10.
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