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Aug. 15, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A national-best seven Atlantic Coast Conference women's soccer teams are ranked among the Top 25 of the Soccer America Preseason Poll released Monday morning.
The ACC contingent includes four teams among the top six - North Carolina at No. 3, Florida State at No. 4, Maryland at No. 5 and Boston College at No. 6.
Duke holds a No. 12 preseason ranking, while Virginia is ranked 16th and defending ACC champion Wake Forest is No. 23.
Stanford and Notre Dame, last year's Women's College Cup finalists, are ranked 1-2, as selected by Soccer America's Editors. The Pac-10 is second behind the ACC with five teams in the Top 25.
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 final top 10. 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.
The 2011 season gets under way the weekend of Aug. 19-21, when all 11 ACC teams are scheduled to see action.