PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston men's soccer was picked to finish second in the 2018 Little East Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll, the league office announced Monday morning.
The Beacons finished just behind 2017 Little East Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Western Connecticut State University. The Colonials took home six first-place votes and 60 total points, while the Beacons earned two first-place votes and 55 total points.
2017 Little East Conference Runner-Up Rhode Island College finished third with 52 points, while Eastern Connecticut State University rounded out the top-four with one first-place vote and 41 total points.
Keene State College (33 points), Castleton University (25 points), Plymouth State University (24 points), University of Southern Maine (17 points) and UMass Dartmouth (17 points) rounded out the nine-team poll.
UMass Boston is looking to get back to the Little East Conference Championship Game, after falling 2-0 to Rhode Island College in the 2017 LEC Semifinals. The loss snapped the Beacons stretch of three-consecutive Little East Conference Tournament Championships from 2014-2016.
Over the past four seasons, UMass Boston has put together the best conference record of any LEC team (19-6-3). The Beacons have won at least four conference games in all four seasons and have finished in the top-three in the conference every season.
This year's team brings back 13 returners from a year ago, including leading goal and point scorer Raffi DeSouza (Watertown, Mass.) and senior captain Guilherme Barbosa (Saugus, Mass.).
UMass Boston also brings back their top three goalies from a year ago. The trio have allowed a program record low 16 goals in each of the past two seasons.
UMass Boston will open their season on Friday at 7 p.m., when they host MIT. The Beacons will open conference play Saturday September 22 at Western Connecticut State University at 1 p.m. Last season, the Colonials scored in the 107thminute, on the final day of the regular season, to capture the LEC Regular Season Title against the Beacons.