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Canisius men’s soccer named MAAC preseason favorite; four players on preseason All-MAAC team


Men's Soccer team celebration vs CCSU 9-10-17
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canisius men's soccer program has been selected to capture the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title as the results of the league's preseason poll were announced on Tuesday.
In voting conducted by the MAAC's 11 head coaches, the Golden Griffins received six first-place votes and 102 points, one ahead of second-place Rider (101). Defending tournament champion Fairfield was third with 95 points, followed by Quinnipiac (82), Manhattan (77) and Monmouth (75). Marist (64), Iona (53), Siena (37), Saint Peter's (23) and Niagara (17) rounded out the poll. 
In addition to the predicted order of finish, the league also announced its Preseason All-MAAC squads. Canisius had a league-high four student-athletes – seniors Melvin Blair and Alex Grattarola, junior Troy Brady and sophomore Filippo Tamburini - named to the 11-member list.
A 2017 All-MAAC First Team selection, Blair played in 18 games as a junior, finishing fourth on the team in scoring with 14 points (4g, 6a). The Frome, Jamaica, product ranked tied for fifth in the MAAC in assists and was fourth among all league players in shots per game (2.9).
Grattarola returns after being named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning All-MAAC First Team accolades in 2017. The Le Lavandou, France, native started all 19 games played and ranked third on the team in both points (16) and goals (7). He was also part of a three-way tie for the team lead with three game-winning goals.
Brady also earned All-MAAC First Team accolades last season following a breakout campaign that saw the Grand Island native place second on the team in both goals (9) and points (20). Brady finished tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals, recording decisive tallies in victories over Robert Morris, Rutgers and VMI.
Tamburini heads into the 2018 campaign looking to build off an impressive rookie season that saw him earn All-MAAC First Team and All-Rookie Team honors after leading the league in both goals (11) and points (26). A native of Rimini, Italy, Tamburini completed his rookie season with the fifth highest single-season goals total and the seventh-highest single-season points total in program history.  
Canisius opens the 2018 season with a six-game road swing that gets underway Aug. 24 at Robert Morris. The Griffs open the home portion of their schedule Sept. 22 against Little Three foe St. Bonaventure before kicking off MAAC play Sept. 26 against Quinnipiac.

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