August 27, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s soccer team, which has advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST tournament each of the past two seasons, has been chosen to finish sixth in the 1998 BIG EAST soccer regular season standings by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.

Notre Dame, which posted a 10-9-2 overall mark in 1997, enters its fourth season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. The Irish won the league’s tournament title in 1996 and was a semifinal participant in 1997 after finishing fifth in the regular season standings.

Irish head coach Mike Berticelli, who enters his ninth season along the sidelines, has 17 letterwinners and seven starters returning for the upcoming campaign.

For the third consecutive year, St. John’s has been chosen as the preseason favorite. Last year the Red Storm posted an 18-4-2 mark and went 9-1-1 in conference play to earn their second consecutive regular season crown. Connecticut, seventh a year ago, is picked to finish second, followed by Rutgers, Georgetown and Seton Hall.

For the first time in league history, the coaches have selected individuals for preseason player of the year honors as well as named a preseason all-BIG EAST team.

Notre Dame opens up the 1998 campaign at home against Valparaiso on Tuesday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. before making its BIG EAST debut at Syracuse on Saturday, September 5 at 7:00 p.m.

1998 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll

                BIG EAST   Overall  Season Finish 1. St. John's     9-1-1   18-4-2   1st 2. Connecticut    5-6-0   11-7-2   7th 3. Rutgers        7-2-2   14-7-2   3rd 4. Georgetown     9-2-0   15-7-0   2nd 5. Seton Hall     7-4-0   11-8-0   4th 6. NOTRE DAME     5-5-1   10-9-2   T5th 7. Boston College 4-6-1   5-9-2    T8th    Syracuse       3-7-1   7-11-1   10th 9. Pittsburgh     3-5-3   10-5-4   T8th10. West Virginia  3-8-0   7-13-0   11th11. Villanova      4-4-3   6-9-5    T5th12. Providence     1-10-0  3-15-0   12th

Preseason Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Kvello (Georgetown)
Defensive Player of the Year: Stefani Miglioranze (St. John’s)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Jonathan Conway (Rutgers)
All-BIG EAST Team: Jonathan Conway – GK (Rutgers); Gabriel Gervais – F/M (Syracuse); Jeff Knittel – M (Syracuse); Eric Kvello – F (Georgetown); Stefani Miglioranzi – M (St. John’s); Brian Piesner – F (Rutgers); John Rath – B (Rutgers); Bobby Rhine – F (Connecticut); Maurizio Rocha – M (Connecticut); Peter Scavo – F (Seton Hall); Roberto Vargas – B (Connecticut)