Tournament 48 Projections
GREENSBORO, N.C.—UNCG men's soccer is listed in TopDrawerSoccer.com's Tournament 48 rankings of teams projected to qualify for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the website announced on Wednesday.
While not considered a true preseason poll, the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 48 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth.
Second-year head coach Justin Maullin and the Spartans are looking to better last season's impressive late surge which resulted in a share of the Southern Conference regular season title, a conference tournament championship, and the program's 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 20 years. Overall, UNCG finished the 2011 campaign with a 12-6-4 record as Maullin captured SoCon Coach of the Year honors.
The Spartans return eight starters from last season, including first-team All-SoCon selections Hakan Ilhan and Kris Byrd. Also returning are second-team picks Brian Graham, Fannar Arnarsson and Aaron Reifschneider.
UNCG opened the 2011 season with a scoreless tie in an exhibition match at NC State last Monday. The Spartans host UNC Pembroke in the final exhibition match at 7 p.m., Saturday, before opening the regular season at home against preseason No. 23 Duke, 8 p.m., Friday August 26.