Aug. 16, 2005
BALTIMORE, MD - The Johns Hopkins men's soccer team has been selected first in the 2005 Centennial Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released Tuesday, August 16, by the conference office. The Blue Jays, who went undefeated in the conference last season and finished 17-1-2 overall, return eight starters and 22 letterwinners, and they bring in a large and talented freshman class.
Hopkins received 80 points, 13 more than any other team, and eight first-place votes in the poll. Muhlenberg, which was ranked second, received 67 points and one first-place vote, while the other first-place vote went to sixth-ranked Swarthmore. McDaniel, which Johns Hopkins defeated 1-0 in the conference final last year, was picked third.
The Blue Jays return their top two leading scorers, seniors Steve Read and second-team All-America pick Manbaj Gill. Read tallied eight goals and two assists, while Gill added three goals and five assists last year. Read, Gill, and fellow senior Jeff Grosser were all selected to the 2004 All-Centennial Conference First Team, while Gill and Grosser earned NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region First Team honors.
Grosser led a Blue Jay defense that finished second in the nation in team goals against average with a 0.30 mark, the eighth best average all-time in NCAA Division III. With 14 shutouts, which tied the school record, Hopkins' shutout percentage of 0.70 was third in the nation and the second best ever by the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins graduated first-team All-America goalkeeper Gary Kane, Jr., but have two solid replacements in juniors Dan Coble and Ryan Bradley.
The Blue Jays have won five conference titles, never back-to-back and all in even-numbered years.
2005 Centennial Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll 1. Johns Hopkins - 80 pts. (8 first place votes) 2. Muhlenberg - 67 (1) 3. McDaniel - 57 4. Franklin & Marshall - 56 5. Gettysburg - 52 6. Swarthmore - 47 (1) 7. Dickinson - 37 8. Washington - 21 9. Haverford - 20 10. Ursinus - 13