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Aug. 12, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – North Carolina is the preseason favorite to claim the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Championship, according to a vote of the league’s 11 head coaches.
The Tar Heels, who will be bidding for their sixth ACC championship in seven years and their 22nd overall, were listed first on seven coaches’ ballots. Florida State received the other four first-place votes and finished a close second. Boston College, which represented the ACC in the 2010 Women’s College Cup, placed third.
Five other teams that participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament followed in the voting. Virginia was picked fourth, followed by Maryland, Duke, defending ACC champion Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. NC State placed ninth, followed by Miami and Clemson.
The ACC is coming off a 2010 season that saw a league-record tying eight teams receive NCAA Tournament berths and record 14 postseason wins. Five of those teams reached at least the final 16 of the NCAA tourney and five – Boston College, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia and Maryland – were ranked among the nation’s top 10 in both the final NSCAA and Soccer Times polls. With Boston College advancing to play in the 2010 College Cup, the ACC has placed at least one team among the final four of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship in 28 of the 29 years the event has been held.
ACC teams will return 18 student-athletes who earned first- or second-team All-ACC honors in 2010, including Defensive Player of the year Crystal Dunn of North Carolina and Freshman of the Year Katie Stengel of Wake Forest. In addition, 2009 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Tiffany McCarty of Florida State is set to return after taking a redshirt year in 2010 due to injury.
Five ACC teams were listed among the top 10 of the 2011 NSCAA preseason rankings – North Carolina at No. 3, Boston College at No. 4, Florida State at No. 5, Maryland at No. 6 and Virginia at No. 10. Wake Forest was ranked 18th, and Duke received votes.
The 2011 season gets under way the weekend of Aug. 19-21, when all 11 ACC teams are scheduled to see action.
The 2011 ACC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Poll:
|School||Points||2010 Overall & ACC Record|
|1||North Carolina||117||19-3-2 (8-2-0)|
|2||Florida State||111||16-6-1 (7-2-1)|
|3||Boston College||90||17-7-1 (5-5-0)|
|7||Wake Forest||64||13-8-3 (5-4-1)|
|8||Virginia Tech||41||10-10-1 (4-5-1)|
|9||NC State||26||7-12-0 (1-9-0)|