Norcross, Ga. – The University of Mobile Rams look to defend the conference championship title they won last year during their inaugural season in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). The Rams enter 2011 as the SSAC favorites as voted on by the conference coaches. They are also ranked No. 2 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coach’s Preseason Top 25 Poll, and they look to secure their fourth consecutive appearance in the NAIA National Soccer Championships.
The Rams finished the 2010 season with an overall record of 17-4-2. They made a run last postseason advancing to the semifinals of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championships before eventually being knocked out by the NAIA champion runner-up. Mobile will be under the new leadership of Dr. Roy Patton, who takes over head coaching duties this season. He will rely upon an experienced squad which includes SSAC Player and Freshman of the Year Deshorn Brown and three 2010 First Team NAIA All-Americans. The Rams narrowly edged cross-division powerhouse Southern Poly State University by one vote in the SSAC Coach’s Preseason Poll receiving 157 and 156 points, respectively. The 2010 SSAC runner-up, Southern Poly State University, is ranked No. 7 in the NAIA polls.
The West Division will prove to be highly competitive again as Belhaven University and William Carey University round out the second and third spots. The two are ranked No. 9 and No. 22 in the NAIA Polls, respectively, with Auburn-Montgomery University receiving votes. Both Belhaven and William Carey look to make back-to-back appearances to the NAIA National Tournament. For the second consecutive season, Southern Poly is picked as the front-runner of the East Division with Shorter University and Lee University expected to be hot on its heels.
This year, 13 teams will compete for the regular season championship with eight teams qualifying for the SSAC tournament. The first round of the SSAC tournament begins on Saturday, Nov. 5 on the campuses of the four highest seeds. The semifinals and championship game then move to the Sportsplex in Gulfport, Miss., on Thursday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 12. The top finisher of the regular season round robin play and the winner of the tournament will receive the automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship.
2011 SSAC Men's Preseason Soccer Poll
Overall Preseason Poll Divisional Polls
1. Mobile East West
2. Southern Poly 1. Southern Poly 1. Mobile
3. Belhaven 2. Shorter 2. Belhaven
4. William Carey 3. Lee 3. William Carey
5. AUM 4. Southern Wesleyan 4. AUM
6. Shorter 5. Emmanuel 5. Spring Hill
7. Lee 6. Truett-McConnell 6. Faulkner
8. Southern Wesleyan 7. Brewton-Parker
For additional information, please contact Kurt Patberg at email@example.com or by phone at 404-434-5146.