BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer team was picked to finish eighth in America East in the preseason coaches poll released today. The University of Hartford was chosen by the coaches to repeat as conference champion.
UNH returns 17 players, including six starters, from the 1999 squad. The 'Cats will be led by 1999 America East Player of the Year Adam Purcell (Barrington, R.I.). Last season Purcell, a senior forward, finished second in the nation with 21 goals and finished with 44 points in 18 games. Other top returnees for UNH include senior Kevin Iarrusso (Springfield, Mass.) and sophomore captain Doug Lawver (Doylestown, Pa.). Iarrusso will be looked to for an increased scoring presence this fall, while Lawver finished third on the squad in scoring as a freshman.
The Wildcats will face several key tests early before its America East opener September 30 against Maine. UNH hosts sixth-ranked Penn State University on the final day of the Nike Fall Soccer Classic on September 3, and faces 1999 Final Four participant Connecticut on September 16.