The Virginia men’s soccer team has been selected fifth in the Preseason ACC Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll, released Wednesday by the conference office.
Maryland is the preseason conference favorite, according to voting by the league’s nine head coaches. North Carolina, Wake Forest and Boston College were selected second through fourth, respectively.
The Cavaliers open the 2012 regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday when they take on Georgetown in the ACC/BIG EAST Challenge at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md.
Head coach George Gelnovatch is leading the Cavaliers’ program for the 17th season. He heads a talented, but very young squad; 21 of the 27 players on the roster are in their freshman or sophomore years of eligibility. Virginia has just two seniors on the roster, Will Bates and Ari Dimas.
Virginia returns 17 letterwinners, including seven starters, from the 2011 squad which went 12-8-1 (4-3-1 ACC) and made the program’s 31st-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
The Cavaliers won both of their preseason exhibition games, downing St. John’s, 1-0, and Liberty, 3-0. The Red Storm is ranked as high as 13th nationally in the preseason polls.