WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University men were selected to finish third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll.

The Hawks registered 95 points, behind leader Quinnipiac (113) and Rider (110).

Senior Colin Stripling also was named to the preseason All-MAAC team.

The Hawks roster features 12 new players for this season, in addition to the return of 2015 New Jersey Gatorade High School Player of the Year John Antunes, who was injured in the season opener against the University of Denver last season.

Antunes will join Stripling in the midfield as the latter earned preseason All-MAAC honors for the second consecutive season. Battling through injury a season ago, Stripling scored four goals in 11 games. He was named to the All-MAAC second team, a year after being named to the All-MAAC first team as he tallied six goals and five assists in 2015. Before sustaining a season-ending injury in 2014, Stripling earned MAAC All-Rookie honors after starting 18 games.

“It’s nice to see Colin get this well-deserved recognition from the MAAC coaches,” Monmouth head coach Robert McCourt said. “Colin has consistently earned All-Conference honors during his years at Monmouth, and he is our team leader on and off the field. Last year, he missed the bulk of the conference portion of the season due to injury, but he is healthy again and very motivated for success.”

Filling the void for D.C. United draftee and goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky is junior transfer Bobby Edwards and freshman Sean Murray, in addition to senior Chris Seager, who started five games last year. Edwards was recently ranked as the second-best junior goalkeeper in the NCAA by EverybodySoccer.com.

The Hawks also return Zach Pereira, named to the 2016 All-MAAC second team, and Andy Martinez, who earned 2016 MAAC All-Rookie team honors. Rounding out the returners are seniors Andrew Gee, Joey Gudzak and Jake Areman, junior Jalil Blalock, and sophomores Michael Luke, Geoffrey Schaefer and Ryan Wells.

Monmouth opens season on the road against Georgia Southern Friday, Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. The Hawks will face the College of Charleston Sunday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. before hosting Penn in the home opener Sept. 1.

Coaches Poll:
1.            Quinnipiac – 113 (7)
2.            Rider – 110 (3)
3.            Monmouth – 95
4.            Siena – 88 (1)
5.            Fairfield – 63
6.            Canisius – 61
7.            Marist – 60
8.            Iona – 48
9.            Manhattan – 39
10.          Niagara – 29
11.          Saint Peter’s – 20

Preseason All-MAAC Team (listed alphabetically, by school):

Forward:
Eamon Whelan, Quinnipiac
Jose Aguinaga, Rider
Clement Bourrett, Rider
Elliot Otmani, Rider

Midfield:
Melvin Blair, Canisius
Simon Lund Jorgensen, Marist
Colin Stripling Monmouth
James Doig, Quinnpiac

Back:
Angus Hastings, Fairfield
Jeppe Haehre, Quinnipiac
Connor McCoy, Quinnipiac
Milorad Sobot, Siena

Goalkeeper:
Chrysostomos Iakovidis, Quinnipiac

Preseason POY:
Jose Aguinaga, Ride