GREENSBORO, N.C. – In a poll of the league’s 12 head coaches, Virginia Tech has been predicted to finish 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Poll as announced by the ACC on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m excited about the challenges ahead of us,” explained Brizendine. “This is the only year we will play all of the teams in the ACC before they switch to a new format next year. I feel that with the players we have returning and the new players that we have added on we are in a position to make a competitive run in the ACC. Only eight teams make the tournament and I believe that with the guys that we have, we will be one of those eight.”
The Hokies return 18 players from last year’s squad and welcome 13 newcomers for the 2013 season.
Last year’s team finished the season with a 7-10-3 record, the program’s best since the 2007 team made it all the way to the NCAA College Cup.
In the ACC tournament last year, the Hokies defeated NC State 3-2 in the first round before falling in the second round to No. 2 Maryland 2-1.
The league’s coaches selected Maryland (142 points) as the preseason favorite to win the conference title followed by North Carolina (122). Wake Forest and Notre Dame finished third and fourth, respectively, with each team receiving a single first-place vote. Rounding out the top five is Virginia with 106 points.
Clemson (69), Duke (67) and Boston College (63) were selected to finish sixth through eighth, respectively. Syracuse (54) follows in ninth place while NC State (44) was selected to finish 10th.
Following in 11th place are the Hokies with 27 points. Finally, in 12th place, the coaches selected Pittsburgh.
“I think it shows the competitiveness of our league when a team (Syracuse) that went to the Sweet-16 last year is picked to finish ninth. Each year the ACC produces some of the best college soccer teams in the nation and this year will not be any different,” said Brizendine.
After the Hokies play in their final exhibition on Aug. 24 at Radford at 7 p.m., the Hokies will then travel to Harrisonburg, Va. for the JMU Tournament where they will play Binghamton (Fri. Aug. 30, 5 p.m.) and Fordham (Sun., Sept. 1, Noon).
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).