ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The league office announced Wednesday that the Navy men’s soccer team has been picked to finish first in the Patriot League’s preseason poll, returning nine starters from its triumphant roster that secured the league tournament championship last season. Three Navy players, including David Jackson, were named to the 2023 Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

With a historic victory in the 2022 season and a record of 7-5-9 overall, Navy won the Patriot League Tournament title for the first time since 2013, securing a 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Navy is expected to maintain momentum in the 2023 season, as over 90% of the team’s offensive lineup, including the starting goalkeeper, will return.

Senior David Jackson, recognized as last year’s Patriot League Midfielder of the Year, earned the league’s preseason midfielder-of-the-year honor for the second consecutive season. His fellow seniors, Baba Kallie and Zach Wagner were also honored as part of the 11-member Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

Originally from Cypress, Texas, David Jackson led Navy’s scoring last year with six goals and 15 points. He picked up First Team All-Patriot League, Second Team All-Atlantic Region, and First Team All-ECAC honors. Moreover, he created a new record by tallying the longest goal streak since 1968, scoring in five consecutive games from Sept. 9-28, 2022.

Baba Kallie returns as the team’s second-leading scorer, having amassed 23 points over 47 career games. In consecutive seasons, he secured his spot on the All-Patriot League Second Team and has been a continuous presence in Navy’s lineup.

Zach Wagner, designated as the Patriot League Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, was a critical part of Navy’s defensive unit, contributing to eight shutouts. As the defender in all of Navy’s 21 games last season, Wagner will now take over as the 2023 team captain, following his older brother JD Wagner.

In the voting conducted by coaches and sports information contacts across the league, Navy secured 134 voting points with eight first-place votes. Boston followed closely with 130 points and three first-place votes, while American, the Patriot League Tournament finalist, earned 129 points to sit third.

Other rankings include Colgate and Loyola tied for fourth place with 107 votes each, defending regular-season champion Army at sixth with 106 points, followed by Lafayette (75 points), Lehigh (52), Bucknell (37), and Holy Cross (22).

The Navy Mids will begin the 2023 season on the road, facing UNC Asheville on Aug. 24 and returning to Glenn Warner Soccer Facility for their home opener against VMI on Aug. 28.

2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Robbie Matei, American, Sr., F
2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason Midfielder of the Year: David Jackson, Navy, Sr., M
2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Griffin Roach, Boston University, Sr., D
2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year: Francesco Montali, Boston University, Sr., GK

2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason All-League Team

  • Robbie Matei, American, Sr., F
  • Evan Jones, Holy Cross, Jr., F
  • Hale Lombard, Lafayette, Sr., F
  • Baba Kallie, Navy, Sr., F
  • Cooper Warren, Army, Sr., M
  • Colin Innes, Boston University, Gr., M
  • David Jackson, Navy, Sr., M
  • Nick Atkinson, Army, Sr., D
  • Griffin Roach, Boston University, Sr., D
  • Zach Wagner, Navy, Sr., D
  • Francesco Montali, Boston University, Sr., GK

2023 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll

  • Navy – 134 (8 first-place votes)
  • Boston University – 130 (3)
  • American – 129 (5)
  • Colgate – 107
  • Loyola – 107
  • Army – 106 (4)
  • Lafayette – 75
  • Lehigh– 52
  • Bucknell – 37
  • Holy Cross – 22

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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