The South Carolina men's soccer team was picked to finish fourth in the 2011 Conference USA Preseason Poll. The women's squad opens the 2011 season as the nation's No. 21 team
Both rankings were announced Wednesday.
For the men, sophomore midfielder Bradlee Baladez was selected to the 12-man 2011 C-USA Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team. Both the preseason team and poll are selected by the league's men's soccer coaches.
SMU was picked to win Conference USA, followed by UCF in second and Tulsa in third. Following the Gamecocks in fourth was Kentucky, UAB, Marshall, FIU and Memphis.
South Carolina began its preseason for the 2011 campaign on Wednesday. The team will kick off its 2011 season with an exhibition contest vs. Elon on Aug. 20, at Stone Stadium.
The women's team is 21st in the preseason coaches poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Gamecocks have been nationally ranked for a program-best 26 consecutive weeks dating back to the second week of the 2009 season (Sept. 7, 2009).
Notre Dame tops the poll as the defending champions, followed by runner-up Stanford, North Carolina, Boston College and Florida State. Four of South Carolina’s opponents for the upcoming season also received recognition.
South Carolina opens the 2011 season on Aug. 19 when the team travels to its neighboring state to take on East Carolina in the season opener before playing Duke on Aug. 21.
Men: Conference USA Preseason Poll
The complete preseason poll and team is listed below:
Preseason Team Poll (1st place votes)
South Carolina (1)
C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year - Arthur Ivo, SMU
C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year - Justin Chavez, Tulsa
2011 C-USA Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team Dylan Asher, Kentucky, D Bradlee Baladez, South Carolina, F Juan Castillo, SMU, F Justin Chavez, Tulsa, D Warren Creavalle, UCF, M Kevan George, UCF, D Anthony Hobbs, FIU, D Arthur Ivo, SMU, M Matt Lodge, Kentucky, M Nik Robson, UCF, F Babayele Sodade, UAB, F Daniel Withrow, Marshall, GK Note: Twelve players appear on the preseason all-conference team because of a voting tie.