YORK, PA-The York College men’s and women’s soccer teams received good news on Tuesday evening as both squads are nationally ranked in the newly released d3kicks.com preseason poll. The Spartan men are second in the country behind the defending national champion Messiah College Falcons while the women are ranked 25th. The men received one first place vote while the Falcons picked up 24 first-place votes.
The ranking wasn’t a surprise for the men as the green and white went 21-0-3 in 2006 and enter 2007 with a 40-match unbeaten streak. The Spartans finished last year ranked fifth in the country as they led the nation in winning percentage. The second ranking matches the highest ranking in school history, which was established towards the end of last year. Mark Ludwig’s squad returns all but two starters from a team that won their second straight CAC championship and made a run into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Spartan returners are headlined by d3kicks.com All-Americans Andrew Wheeler (Baltimore, Md./Patapasco) and Evan Scheffey (Lititz, Pa./Warwick)
The ranking for the women’s side comes off a very successful 2006 that saw the green and white post 14 victories. The ladies had a disappointing ending to the year as they lost in the CAC semifinals on penalty kicks. That defeat knocked the Spartans from the bubble of the NCAA Tournament as they narrowly missed making the big dance. Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner welcomes back all her returning letter winners with the exception of all-region goalie Amanda Lomberg. D3kicks.com All-Americans Erin Kuhn (Turnersville, N.J./Washington Township) and Emily Sullivan (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) return to lead a Spartan squad that has a six-player senior class that has won 40 matches in 60 outings in their first three years in the green and white. This is the first time in the 12-year history of the program that the Spartans have been nationally ranked.
Both squads open practice on Sunday, August 19. The men play their first regular-season match on Saturday, September 1 against Albright at Graham Field. The women open their 2007 schedule on the road at the Bridgewater (Va.) Tournament on that same Saturday.