Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll
Newport News, Va. - (Aug. 21, 2018) – With the regular season set to open this week, the Atlantic 10 Conference announced its preseason coaches' poll and All-Conference team for men's soccer on Tuesday. After its run to the NCAA quarterfinals last season and winning two of the last four conference championships, Fordham was the coaches' pick to finish first. Fordham, who was ranked 16th in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, took the top spot in the poll with six first place votes and 159 points, followed by VCU, who received four first place votes and 149 points, and Massachusetts, who got two first place votes and 144 points. Rhode Island was fourth, with Dayton, Saint Louis, George Washington, Davidson, George Mason, La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's, and Duquesne rounding out the poll. The top eight teams in the conference will advance to the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship at the end of the season with opening round games at campus sites. The semifinals and final then move to Saint Louis' Hermann Stadium on November 9-11. In addition to being picked first in the preseason poll, three Rams, Janos Loebe (Kierspe, Germany), Rashid Nuhu (Accra, Ghana), and Joergen Oland(Drammen, Norway) were named to the Preseason All-Conference team for the second consecutive year.
Loebe, who was on the preseason Hermann Award Watch List, was a 2017 Third Team All-American by College Soccer News, as well as being First Team All-Atlantic 10 and First Team United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region, after leading the Rams in scoring with 23 points on seven goals and nine assists. He was also named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week twice last season, while being among the national leaders in assists and game-winning goals (4) throughout the year. For his career, Loebe has started 61 of 62 games, and already ranks in the top ten at Fordham in goals (T10th – 19), assists (T3rd – 20), and points (10th – 58). Nuhu was also a First Team All-Atlantic 10 in 2017, while being a Second Team United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region and a First Team All-ECAC pick. He set the school record for minutes played by a goalkeeper (2140), as well as wins (14) last season. He posted 11 shutouts, which is the second-highest total in school history, while his 0.84 goals against average rated as the sixth-best. He was also a part of a Fordham defense, that ranked 17th in the NCAA in shutout percentage and 25th in goals against average. For his career, Nuhu is second in career goals against average (0.93), third in minutes played (5413) and shutouts (24), and fourth in career appearances in goal (58). Oland was a Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, as well as United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Midwest Region in 2017. He started all 22 games he appeared in, helping Fordham to 11 shutouts and one of the top goals against average marks in the NCAA. He scored a career-high five goals for ten points, which both ranked third on the Rams. Since joining the Rams, Oland has started 43 games, netting six goals and two assists from his center back position. Fordham opens its 2018 season on Friday, August 24th, at Holy Cross.