Two Named Preseason All-Conference & Dolphins Picked Third in Coaches Poll

Two Named Preseason All-Conference & Dolphins Picked Third in Coaches Poll

MACON, Ga. - Jacksonville University men's soccer players Kai Bennett and Patrick Harding were both named to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team on Wednesday. 

In addition, the Dolphins were picked to finish third in the Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced by the league on Wednesday. It's the highest the team has been picked in the past four years.

Bennett, who earned a Second Team All-Conference selection after last season, started 13 games in 2017 and ranked third throughout the conference in assists, tallying five. Coupled with his two goals, Bennet was second on the Dolphins' roster in total points last season.

Bennett produced often last year, including in an early season matchup with UAB in which the junior forward rattled off four shots and gave Jacksonville their lone goal of the match. Later in the season Bennett netted a goal at Lipscomb, aiding the Dolphins in a 3-1 victory. 

As a freshman in 2016 Bennett recorded a career-high five goals, which led the team and earned him a spot on the All-Freshman Team.  

Harding was one of two goalkeepers selected to the All-Conference squad and was the Fan-Voted Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year for a second-straight year. 

With 35 starts in his career, the senior will look to live up to his resume in 2018. Harding ranked third in the conference with 59 saves last season while sporting a .720 save percentage. Harding also posted a shutout last season in a late October match with conference foe Stetson, and allowed just one goal in each of the Dolphins' six wins.

During the 2017 Atlantic Sun Semifinal match Harding recorded five saves and allowed just one goal on the way to a double-overtime win over Stetson. 

Jacksonville will conclude preseason play on Saturday with an 11:00 a.m. match at Georgia State before kicking off the regular season on Friday, Aug. 24 at Southern Oak Stadium in a 7:00 p.m. match with Appalachian State.

Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Lipscomb       (42)

2. FGCU            (41)

3. Jacksonville   (28)

4. NJIT             (25)

5. Stetson         (23)

6. Liberty          (22)

7. North Florida (15)