GREENWOOD – The Lander men's soccer team is picked to finish second this season in the Peach Belt Conference according to a preseason coaches' poll released by the league office on Wednesday.
The Bearcats, who last year made their fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance and seventh overall, return eight lettermen including 2008 Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Aaron Brittain.
Flagler College, which won the PBC's 2009 regular-season title, is picked to repeat as the league champion after receiving seven first-place votes, one third and totaled 62 points. Lander, the defending PBC tournament champion, is second with five second-place votes and three third for 53 points. Clayton State and Montevallo each received one first-place vote and are tied for third with 48 points. Francis Marion is fifth with 37 points, followed by: 6. UNC Pembroke 31, 7. USC Aiken 19, 8. North Georgia 18, and 9. Georgia Southwestern 8.
Brittain, a senior from Cleveland, England, has scored 37 goals during the last three seasons and looks to become only the fourth player to make All-PBC four times.
Also returning for Lander are All-PBC players Jamie Davison (4 goals, 3 assists), a senior midfielder from Middlesbrough, England, and Craig Hughes (2 goals, 6 assists), a senior midfielder from Sunderland, England.
Bearcat coach Van Taylor returns for his 26th season at Lander, where he has amassed an overall 340-135-26 record for a .704 winning percentage. Taylor is one of the top 10 winningest active coaches in NCAA Division II.