Camels earn top-25 ranking in preseason soccer poll

From Campbell University Athletics
Posted 8/6/22

Campbell is ranked in the United Soccer Coaches preseason men's soccer poll, released earlier this week.

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Camels earn top-25 ranking in preseason soccer poll

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BUIES CREEK — With eight starters returning from its Big South Conference double-winning side, Campbell is ranked No. 25 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason men's soccer poll.

Campbell, which finished with a 15-4-2 mark last season and advanced to the NCAA College Cup for the third time in four years, is tied with Bowling Green University for the 25th spot. 

"This recognition is a testament to the foundation we've laid over the last few years and it's always nice to see that our peers respect our program.," said Dustin Fonder, who is entering his eighth season in charge of the Fighting Camels program. 

"Our guys are excited to start the season in the top 25, but we have a hungry group that will see this as a challenge that we have 24 spots still to climb."

Defending national champion Clemson was chosen first in the preseason ranking.

CU won the 2021 Big South Conference regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament, where it fell, 2-1, at No. 27 Virginia Tech in the opening round. 

The Camels return the Big South's offensive and defensive players of the year, in Tyler Young and Bissafi Dotte, respectively.

All-South Region performers Moses Mensah and Kemy Amiche, who also earned freshman All-America honors, also return. Two-time all-conference center back Diego Konincks, as well as 2020 all-region choice Jalen James, are also back for CU.

Campbell opens the season with three straight road matches before hosting Coastal Carolina on Labor Day, Sept. 5, in the home opener.

Big South Conference play begins Sept. 24 when the Camels host USC Upstate.

The Big South Championship starts Sunday, Nov. 6, when the top two seeds in the standings will host the third and fourth teams in semifinal matches.  The highest remaining seed will host the Big South Championship final on Nov. 12, with the league's automatic berth in the NCAA College Cup at stake. 

Campbell is unbeaten in the last four Big South tournaments while claiming the titles in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

The 2022 NCAA College Cup culminates Dec. 9 and 11 with the semifinals and finals at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

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