BOSTON — The University of Vermont men’s soccer team is projected to finish fifth, according to this year’s America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Catamounts picked up 28 points for a top-five spot. Reigning conference champion New Hampshire was tabbed as the preseason favorite with 47 points and earned five first-place votes. Stony Brook landed in second place with 40 points and received the final three first-place votes. UMBC and UMass Lowell were deadlocked in a third-place tie with 34 points apiece.

UVM is coming off an 11-7-1 campaign and won at least 10 games for the fourth straight year. The Green and Gold also earned their ninth consecutive America East Tournament berth.

The Cats will be led by seniors Jon Arnar Bardal, Arnar Steinn Hansson and Lucas Shaw, who were elected team captains in the spring. Bardal earned America East Second Team All-Conference honors as a junior after finishing third on the team with 13 points (five goals, three assists). Steinn Hansson, a 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District I First Team honoree, helped the back line record eight clean sheets — the most in a decade. Shaw made seven appearances as a reserve defender last season. During his seven games played, the Catamounts won five matches and outscored their opponents 16-5 with four shutouts.

Vermont will kick off the 2019 regular season at the Chicago Classic. The Cats will face Loyola Chicago on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.

2019 AMERICA EAST MEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL

No., School Points (1st Place Votes)

1. New Hampshire 47 (5) 2. Stony Brook 40 (3) T3. UMBC 34 T3. UMass Lowell 34 5. Vermont 28 6. UAlbany 21 7. Binghamton 11 8. Hartford 9

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