COLLEGE STATION -- The defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M soccer team will begin the 2007 campaign ranked fifth in the nation by both the Soccer Buzz and National Soccer Coaches Association of American preseason polls, released this week.
Over the course of the 2007 season, the Aggies will face eight of the 30 teams listed in the Soccer Buzz poll, No. 1 North Carolina, No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Texas, No. 12 Penn State, No. 18 West Virginia, No. 22 Duke, No. 26 Kansas and No. 29 Oklahoma State and seven of the 25 teams listed in the NSCAA poll, No. 1 North Carolina, No. 7 Penn State, No. 9 Texas, No. 13 Florida, No. 14 Colorado, No. 21 West Virginia, and No. 23 Oklahoma State.
The ‘07 squad returns 11 starters and a total of 15 letterwinners from last year’s team that brought home the 2006 Big 12 regular season title and lifted A&M to its 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, eighth admission into the NCAA “Sweet Sixteen” and third appearance in the NCAA “Elite Eight.”
The 2007 roster holds the experience of eight seniors, three juniors and five sophomores. In addition to the returnees, the Aggies will receive contribution from the addition of seven freshmen.
A&M opens at No. 1 in the Central Region for the fourth time, leading all Central teams with 50 poll appearances. Texas A&M maintains its streak as one of only two regional teams to be ranked in every poll (129 weeks).
The preseason No. 5 nod marks A&M’s 106th consecutive appearance in the Soccer Buzz national poll.
The Aggies will host the Maroon vs. White scrimmage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Aggie Soccer Stadium and will kick-off the 2007 regular season at home against Dartmouth on Friday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.