The National Soccer Coaches Association of America, or NSCAA for short, is one of the more significant groups when it comes to collegiate soccer. While I'm sure they do all sorts of neat things for the coaches themselves, their benefit to the college soccer fan is their weekly national rankings as well as being in charge of the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Award, collegiate soccer's national Player of the Year award.
They announced all of that for both men's and women's soccer yesterday, and of course, Marquette found themselves involved. Redshirt junior striker C. Nortey is one of 32 players nominated for the men's soccer MAC Hermann Award, while his team is ranked #12 in the country to start the season. Over on the women's side, Marquette has a preseason ranking of #15.
Three Big East players are on the men's list along with Nortey. Joshua Yaro and Brandon Allen from Georgetown made the cut, along with Tim Parker from St. John's. All four men are on our preseason All-Big East team. Also on the men's list are two players that Marquette will play in non-conference action: Laurie Bell from UWM and Notre Dame's Nick Besler.
On the women's watch list, Marquette didn't make the cut, but two players from the Big East did. Georgetown's Daphne Corboz and Rachel Daly from St. John's were pretty easy choices for the list, as they will both compete for the 2014 scoring title in the Big East. Elsewhere on the schedule, Jessie Ayers, a midfielder from Colorado College, is also on the Hermann Watch List, as are two players from Texas A&M: senior midfielder Shea Groom and senior defender Meghan Streight.
When it comes to rankings, the NSCAA has Georgetown as the favorite to win the the men's side of the Big East, ranking ninth in the country to start the season. The Golden Eagles and the Hoyas are the only two Big East teams ranked, although both Creighton (14) and St. John's (10) received votes. MU will open the season against #1 Notre Dame, and the last non-conference match of the season will come against Wisconsin, who start the season at #21.
Over in the women's rankings, Marquette would be the favorite to win the Big East, with Georgetown ranking 20th and no one else picking up a vote. You can circle September 14th on your calendars, as it's MU's lone true test of the non-conference schedule. They'll be in College Station to take on Texas A&M, who start out the season ranked #9.
Season tickets for soccer are on sale now. It's $45 for all 21 men's AND women's matches, which is a nutso low price in the first place. Season tickets get you reserved seating in the chairback seating in the Valley, plus each ticket gets you a 2014 Marquette Soccer Scarf. Go buy yourself some tickets already, unless you're a student, because then you get in for free.