The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
—CCC Press Release—
LA GRANDE, Ore. – Two-time defending conference champion, Concordia University (Ore.), claimed all eight first-place votes and is a unanimous choice among the league’s head coaches to repeat as the Cascade Collegiate Conference champion in men’s soccer.
The Cavaliers, who have won 12 of the last 14 conference titles, including eight of the last nine, are coming off of a 2011 CCC tournament title win over Corban (Ore.). In 2012, Northwest (Wash.) was picked to finish second, followed by Corban. Warner Pacific (Ore.), Evergreen (Wash.), and College of Idaho were only separated by five points in the poll in the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots. Oregon Tech and Northwest Christian rounded out the poll.
Concordia captured both the regular season and CCC tournament titles last season. Entering his 25th season with the Cavaliers, head coach Dan Birkey returns 13 lettermen and seven starters, but must replace second team All-American and two-time CCC Player of the Year, Facundo Dipascuale. Concordia welcomes back a pair of first team All-Conference selections in Septi Danciu and Tanner French. Danciu was the conference’s leading scorer last season, and French was Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.
Senior Jared Brace made four game-winning goals for the second straight season last year. Danciu found the net 14 times, totaling 36 points.
Northwest, the only CCC team to knock off Concordia in 2011, returns 24 players, including four starters from last year’s team that went 10-3-1 in conference play. Head coach Gary McIntosh II crossed the 100-win plateau in 2011, and was named conference Co-Coach of the Year.
The Eagles return second-team All-CCC goalkeeper, Joe Galbraith, who started all 19 games in the net for Northwest last season. He made 69 saves a year ago, stopping 78 percent of the shots that came his direction. Adam Loga returns to the midfield for the Eagles after receiving an All-Conference honorable mention honor.
Last season’s underdog story, Corban, received 42 points in the 2012 poll. In 2011, after being picked to finish last in the preseason CCC poll, the Warriors made a run to the conference tournament title game. Corban brings back 10 players from last season’s roster led by a senior trio that includes 2011 Co-Conference Defender of the Year Tillerman Kroon, 2011 All-CCC first team member Tyler Hagen, and two-time All-CCC second team member Aaron Kinnes.
The top four teams in the CCC’s final regular season standings will earn spots in the conference’s postseason tournament, which begins Nov. 6. The CCC’s tournament champion will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NAIA Championships, which get underway Nov. 17.
The CCC’s 19th season of men’s soccer gets underway later this month. The NAIA’s preseason Top 25 poll was released Aug. 14.
CCC Coaches’ Poll
|College of Idaho||30|
first place votes in parentheses