BRISTOL, Tenn. – Conference Carolinas released the 2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll on Thursday morning, selecting Coker College as the favorite to repeat as conference champion. King was picked to finish seventh as they enter their second season competing in the conference.
The Tornado received 44 votes in the 2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll, putting them in front of North Greenville (39), Belmont Abbey (34), Mount Olive (27), and Pfeiffer (21). Coker received nine first place votes to lead all Conference Carolinas schools and earn them the top spot in the poll. Limestone followed close behind with the remaining two first place votes. Lees-McRae was picked to finish third before Erskine and Barton each received 58 votes in a tie for fourth place in the poll.
The Tornado, led by Tom Winspear, started the season off with an upset win over rival Lees-McRae by a 4-3 count for their first conference win since joining the league. They finished the year strong, winning or tying four of their final five conference matches and clinched their spot in the postseason tournament with a 1-0 overtime victory over Queens (N.C.). King was eliminated from the Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Tournament by Lees-McRae in a hard-fought and exciting game in Banner Elk, N.C. by a 2-1 score.
Winspear, who is now a graduate assistant coach with the Tornado, scored a team-high 15 goals and 33 points while becoming King's all-time leading goal scorer in 2011. King will be introducing 15 freshmen to this year's team while returning nine from a season ago.
The 2012 regular season will kick off at Lenoir-Rhyne on Aug. 30 before the Tornado host Mars Hill in their home opener on Sept. 1 at Parks Field.