KANSAS CITY, Kas. — The Lincoln Memorial University men’s soccer team has moved to fourth in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Men’s Southeast Region poll, officials announced Tuesday afternoon. The Railsplitters also received votes for the NSCAA NCAA Division II Men’s National poll, falling just outside of the top-25 in the second poll of the 2012 season.
The Railsplitters make the move from ninth to fourth in the region following an unblemished 1-0-1 record last week. LMU opened the week with a 0-0 draw against Union University. They closed the week on Saturday night with a 1-0 triumph over the University of Montevallo on the Falcons’ home turf. Mario Pinto notched the lone goal in the match in the 13th minute, intercepting a pass intended for the Falcon keeper and putting the Railsplitters on the board.
LMU currently sits at 2-0-1 as they opened the season with a 2-1 victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville on the LMU Soccer Field. Chris Nash and Diego Deschamp were responsible for the goals in that contest.
The Railsplitters have been led this season by a combination of veteran leadership and talented newcomers. LMU placed four players on the preseason All-South Atlantic Conference team, led by Mario Pinto (Uberlandia, Brazil). Last season, Pinto was an All-South Atlantic Conference First Team selection and the SAC Freshman of the Year. Senior Chris Nash (Cuffley, England) and junior Callum Home (East Kilbride, Scotland) were also named to the preseason All-SAC First Team, along with teammate Leonardo Germniani (Itajuba, Brazil), who was named preseason All-SAC Second Team.
Among the talented newcomers, junior keeper Marcel Barwanietz (Berlin, Germany) has been a highlight, as he has posted two shutouts in his first two games at Lincoln Memorial University. In 180 total minutes in goal, Barwanietz has recorded eight saves and faced 27 shots without surrendering a score.
Flagler College was ranked first in the poll, followed by UNC-Pembroke and Young Harris. Lincoln Memorial University was joined in the southeast regional rankings by a trio of South Atlantic Conference schools, as Mars Hill fell to sixth, Tusculum moved to seventh and Wingate jumped to ninth.
The Railsplitters will be back in action Wednesday afternoon as they travel to King College for a nonconference matchup with the Tornado, slated for a 4 p.m. start. LMU opens SAC play Friday at Mars Hill College.