Falcons Picked to Finish Second in WAC Preseason Poll
Aug 20, 2013
The Air Force men's soccer team was picked second in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll, announced today by the league office. Senior Caleb Downey was selected as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year and fellow senior Brian Klazura joins Downey on the preseason all-conference team.
This is the first year of men’s soccer in the WAC since the 1999 season. The league is made up of eight teams divided into two divisions and includes both full time members of the WAC and affiliates. The East Division is comprised of Air Force (affiliate), Grand Canyon, Houston Baptist (affiliate) and Kansas City. The West Division consists of Bakersfield, UNLV (affiliate), San Jose State (affiliate) and Seattle U.
The Falcons garnered two first-place votes and 43 total points to finish behind Bakersfield, which received five first-place votes and 47 total points. Air Force was 10-9-4 last year and won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament title, while the Roadrunners went 9-5-5 in 2012 and finished in first place in the Pacific Division of the MPSF.
Downey, who earned honorable mention all-MPSF honors in 2012 as a defender. tied for third on the team with three goals including two game-winners and attempted 11 shots during the year. Both of his game-winners came against nationally-ranked New Mexico. Klazura, meanwhile, tied for third on the team with seven points and also had two game-winners last season, including a golden goal to defeat Bakersfield in double overtime in the MPSF semifinals.
UNLV was picked third with 30 points followed closely by San Jose State with 29 points. Kansas City was picked fifth with 26 points followed by Seattle U (19), Grand Canyon (18) and Houston Baptist (12). Grand Canyon makes the transition to Division I this season after wrapping up their final season in Division II with a 16-3-1 overall record in 2012.
Kansas City junior forward Jordan Rideout garnered preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors after leading the Kangaroos with seven goals, 16 points and 44 shots in 2012. He also earned NSCAA third team all-region honors.
Bakersfield led all WAC teams with three preseason all-conference selections. Air Force and Seattle U each had two honorees, while Houston Baptist, Kansas City, UNLV and San Jose State each had one representative.
The 2013 WAC season is set to kickoff Aug. 30 with all of the WAC's teams in action over the Labor Day weekend. The WAC Men’s Soccer Tournament will be held at the Air Force Academy, November 14-15 and 17. Every team except Grand Canyon will participate as the Antelopes are ineligible due to their transition from Division II to Division I.
2013 WAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
2013 Preseason All-WAC Team
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year