SJU soccer ranked No. 15 ahead of season

Already tabbed as the favorites to win the Big East Red Division, the defending Big East Tournament champion St. John’s University’s men’s soccer team has added another preseason accolade, as the squad has been ranked No. 15 in the Preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 Rankings.

St. John’s will play four teams this season that appear in the rankings, including Connecticut (No. 4), USF (No. 5), Louisville (No. 7) and Akron (No. 10). Three other opponents, including Rutgers, William & Mary and South Carolina, are among the schools receiving votes.

Preseason All-Big East selections Jack Bennett and Tim Parker lead a group of 15 returning letterwinners, including seven starters, from a 2011 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in program history, won a conference-record ninth BIG EAST Tournament crown and finished the season with a 14-7-2 record.

After a trio of exhibition contests, the Red Storm opens the regular season Aug. 24 with an 8 p.m. game against Boston University.

St. John’s men’s soccer tickets are now available for purchase online at redstormtix.com or by phone at 1-888-GO-STORM. Become a season ticket holder to save 50 percent off the regular price of admission. Season ticket holders can select from the best seat locations for all nine home games and also receive both a premium gift pack and special consideration for postseason games.

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