GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference released it’s men’s soccer preseason poll Wednesday, and the University of North Carolina is the preseason favorite to claim the 2011 ACC championship. The poll, as determined by a vote of the league’s nine head coaches, has Virginia Tech placing ninth.
North Carolina earned seven of nine possible first-place votes, with defending ACC champion Maryland and Duke earning the other two. Maryland placed second in the voting, while Virginia was picked to finish third.
“I’m not surprised by the preseason poll because it basically goes off what happened last year. But as I told our guys, right now that doesn’t matter. Where we finish is the most important thing,” said Tech Head Coach Mike Brizendine.
The ACC has placed at least one team in the men’s College Cup Final Four for 10 straight years. The ACC owns 14 NCAA men’s soccer national titles, including four of the last six, and has appeared in the championship game on 21 occasions. Six ACC teams are ranked in the preseason top-25 polls according to College Soccer News and Soccer America. Five teams are ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s (NSCAA) top-25.
“We play in the best soccer conference in the country and I think there’s going to be a lot of parity within the conference this year,” noted Brizendine. The conference has earned it’s reputation because ACC teams typically do very well against non-ACC teams and I expect that to continue again this year.”
Tech opens the regular season this Saturday, Aug. 27, when it hosts Howard University at 7 p.m., in the first five straight home games for the Hokies to open the 2011 season. The following weekend, Tech hosts the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational as the Hokies welcome Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Virginia to Blacksburg for games on Friday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 4. Virginia Tech plays Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 and Cincinnati at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
The complete poll follows.
2011 Preseason ACC Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll
|School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. North Carolina (7)||78|
|2. Maryland (1)||66|
|4. Wake Forest||52|
|5. Duke (1)||48|
|6. Boston College||44|
|8. NC State||18|
|9. Virginia Tech||11|
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