West Babylon, N.Y. - Fresh off one of the best seasons in program history, Mercy has been chosen as the favorite in the East Coast Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll. Mercy standouts swept the league's preseason awards as well with Maximiliano Rebolledo-Camus (Santiago, Chile) and Gaston Rozenblum (Buenos Aires, Argentina) selected as the ECC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
Mercy, which is also ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Division II Preseason Poll, was a near-unanimous choice atop the poll, earning eight of nine first-place votes. The Mavericks had a memorable 2018 season, claiming a share of their first ECC Regular Season Championship since 1992 and earned a berth into the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1989. Expectations are high for Mercy with a roster that includes eight returning starters, six of which were All-Conference selections a year ago.
Two of the returning All-Conference performers for Mercy are Rebolledo-Camus and Rozenblum. Rebolledo-Camus earns the ECC's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award after finishing last season as Mercy's top scorer. He tallied 11 goals and dished off three assists for 25 points. His goal and points totals were good for third in the conference. He also finished second in the ECC with four game-winning goals. Rebolledo-Camus' offensive output led to a handful of postseason honors, including a spot on the ECC All-Conference First Team and the USC All-East Region Second Team.
Rozenblum claims the ECC's preseason defensive honor after earning the ECC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He anchored Mercy's backline that allowed just 22 goals and a 1.18 goals against average in 21 matches. Rozenblum was also a huge contributor on offense, tallying two goals and a team-high six assists. His outstanding play earned him a spot on the All-Conference First Team, as well as both the USC and Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-East Region First Team.
After earning a spot in the ECC Championship a year ago, Queens finished as the runner-up in the poll with 68 points. The next three teams in the poll were separated by one point. New York Tech and St. Thomas Aquinas tallied 52 points to tie for No. 3, while Bridgeport finished with 51 points to just miss out on a top-four ranking and spot among the expected ECC Championship participants.
The final first-place vote in the poll went to Molloy, which came in at No. 7 in the poll.
2019 ECC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll
|1. Mercy (8)||80||13-4-1 (7-2-0 ECC)|
|2. Queens||68||10-4-3 (6-2-1 ECC)|
|T3. New York Tech||52||8-7-1 (3-5-1 ECC)|
|T3. St. Thomas Aquinas||52||10-6-1 (6-3-0 ECC)|
|5. Bridgeport||51||10-4-1 (5-3-1 ECC)|
|6. District of Columbia||41||6-10-1 (4-5-0 ECC)|
|7. Molloy (1)||26||2-15-0 (0-9-0 ECC)|
|8. Daemen||22||5-12-0 (3-6-0 ECC)|
|9. Roberts Wesleyan||13||5-8-3 (2-6-1 ECC)|
() - first place votes