(HALIFAX, N.S.) The Cape Breton Capers, the top-ranked men's soccer team in the country, are the favourites to repeat as AUS men's soccer champions according to the head coaches.
The results of the inaugural coaches' poll were unveiled Wednesday ahead of this week's season openers and the reigning Atlantic conference champions received all nine first place votes from the conference head coaches and a total of 81 points.
This marks the first year for the AUS soccer pre-season coaches' poll, which was voted on by the league's ten head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams
CBU's first-place vote went to the StFX X-Men (72 points), who finished second in the poll ahead of the 2018 AUS runner-up UNB Reds who garnered 66 points.
Head coach Deano Morley, the 2017 and 2018 U SPORTS coach of the year, will aim to lead his squad to a fourth consecutive AUS banner – a feat which hasn't been accomplished since Dalhousie won four titles in a row from 1974 to 1977.
The Capers, undefeated in conference play last season (10-0-2, 2-0 AUS playoffs), captured a U SPORTS silver following a 2-1 loss to Montreal in the gold medal game at the national championship.
This year's Subway AUS championship tournament will be hosted by Cape Breton University, Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Sydney, N.S.
2019 AUS MEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL
(First-place votes in parentheses):
1. Cape Breton (9), 81 pts.
2. StFX (1), 72 pts.
3. UNB, 66 pts.
4. Dalhousie, 52 pts.
5. Moncton, 40 pts.
6. Saint Mary's, 39 pts.
7. UPEI, 36 pts.
8. Acadia, 31 pts.
9. Memorial, 24 pts.
10. Mount Allison, 9 pts.
NOTE: Coaches ranked all opponents 1-9. First-place votes worth 9 pts., second-place worth 8 pts. etc.
The 2019 season opens this Friday with a trio of games, all of which can be seen live on AUStv at www.AUStv.ca.
For a complete look at the 2019 AUS men's soccer schedule, click here.