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May 28, 2024 11:35 pm

Mount Olive men’s soccer picked sixth in preseason Conference Carolinas poll

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Following a nine-win campaign in 2022, the University of Mount Olive men’s soccer program was recently selected sixth in the preseason Conference Carolinas poll.

The Trojans feature numerous new faces on the roster following the graduation of nine seniors the previous year. UMO finished with a 9-6-2 overall record with an impressive 6-1-1 mark at Amon Field while making an appearance in the first round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Head Coach Ian Spooner enters his third year at Mount Olive and second year at the helm of the program.

UMO returns three all-conference selections from 2022, including second-team junior goalkeeper Axel Engren, who started all 17 matches between the posts. He finished fourth in the Conference Carolinas with 64 saves while ranking among the top five in the league with a .719 save percentage. Engren registered three shutout performances and collected at least five saves in six games. Junior Guilherme Semola returns on attack after leading the 16 points behind six goals and four assists. He ranked among the top half in the conference in all major offensive categories and recorded at least one point in eight matches. On the backline, senior Amin Ferreira will anchor the defense after logging over 1,300 minutes in 16 starts with the Trojans. He assisted the team to four shutout victories and played all 90 minutes in nine contests.

Converse was chosen as the preseason favorite in the Conference Carolinas with seven first-place votes after capturing the regular season and conference championships in its second-year as a program. Francis Marion followed close behind with four first-place votes to sit second in the rankings after reaching the league tournament final. Conference newcomer, Young Harris, was slotted third in the poll with the final two first-place votes following a 7-6-3 mark in the Peach Belt Conference last year. North Greenville was voted fourth overall and Chowan rounded-out the top five in the rankings.

The Conference Carolinas semifinals and championship will be played on Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 at Bryan Park in Browns Summit, North Carolina.

The Trojans open the 2023 campaign on Thursday, August 31, as they travel to face Mars Hill in non-conference action, starting at 7:30 p.m.