BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer team was picked to finish ninth in America East in the preseason coaches poll released today. The University of Vermont, with 100 points and four first-place votes, was picked as the preseason favorite by the coaches.

UNH returns 18 players, including nine starters, from the 2000 squad that had a 3-6-0 conference record and an overall mark of 6-10-0. The 'Cats will be led by seniors Andy Karam (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Shaun O'Neil (Wrentham, Mass.) and junior Doug Lawver (Doylestown, Pa.). Karam led the squad in scoring last season, totaling 5-3-13. O'Neil and Lawver return as co-captains. O'Neil emerged as on of the top goalkeepers in America East last season with a 1.41 GAA and three shutouts. Lawver was second on the squad in scoring last season, but will make the move to the backfield for the 2001 campaign.

UNH opens up by hosting the 12th annual Nike Fall Soccer Classic on September 2-3, where it will face Oneonta State and Hartwick. The 'Cats will travel to North Carolina to take on the No. 5 Tar Heels on September 14, and will host UMass (9/19) and Providence (9/26) before opening the America East slate at Maine on October 2.

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