Credit: Stock image | Pixabay

The Husson University football team will begin its quest for a return to the NCAA Division III Tournament as it opens training camp this weekend at the Winkin Complex on the Bangor campus.

Coach Gabby Price’s club will hold its first practice from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. Saturday, then hold daily workouts from 8:50 to 11 a.m. through Aug. 25, with an intersquad scrimmage scheduled at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18.

The Eagles are coming off a 10-2 season that included a second straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference championship, a first-ever NCAA tournament victory and a national ranking in NCAA Division III.

Husson finished 21st in the final 2017 American Football Coaches Association Division III coaches poll and tied with Franklin College of Indiana for 25th in the final poll — marking the first time an eastern conference team was ranked in the top 25 in both polls.

The Eagles also were ranked third in the final edition of the Grinold Chapter New England Division III poll, the highest such ranking in the program’s history.

Husson will be led this fall by quarterback Cory Brandon, defensive back Quan Soyini and linebacker Elvin Suazo Jr., the team’s senior captains.

Husson will kick off its 2018 season at Union College of Schenectady, New York, on Sept. 1, followed by the first varsity meeting with in-state rival University of New England at Biddeford on Sept. 8.

The Eagles’ home opener is set for Sept. 15 against Western New England University.

Monks’ soccer team nationally ranked

Saint Joseph’s College of Standish has been ranked 25th nationally in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III men’s soccer preseason rankings.

The Monks are coming a 19-0-2 season in 2017 when they won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

Saint Joseph’s captured its first-ever NCAA tournament victory with a 2-1 win over Mitchell College, then the next day held 2016 national champion Tufts University scoreless before falling on the Jumbos’ home field in penalty kicks in the second round.

The Monks were one of just two NCAA men’s soccer teams — out of approximately 800 programs nationwide — not suffer a loss last fall. Midwestern State University, a Division II program from Texas, finished 20-0-3.

Saint Joseph’s is one of four New England schools in the preseason rankings, along with Brandeis (fourth), Tufts (fifth) and Amherst (10th).

The Monks’ 2017 men’s soccer team, coached by Adrian Dubois, established new NCAA men’s soccer records — for all three divisions — in goals against average and save percentage.

Saint Joseph’s allowed just one goal in 1,930 minutes and broke the NCAA men’s soccer record regardless of division for consecutive shutout minutes (1,802:54).

Goalie Blake Mullen also set an individual NCAA men’s soccer record for consecutive shutout minutes (1,706:09) last season.

The Monks finished the 2017 season ranked 25th in the United Soccer Coaches national poll, 17th in the national poll and sixth in the United Soccer Coaches regional poll.

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Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...