FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2011 men’s soccer preseason poll on Thursday morning and Washington and Lee was picked to finish seventh in the voting.
Defending champion Lynchburg College was tabbed to finish first, collecting five first place votes and 94 points. Virginia Wesleyan (2 first-place votes, 87 pts.), Roanoke (1 first-place vote, 85 points) and Hampden-Sydney (3 first-places votes, 76 points) were the other recipients of first place votes in the poll. Randolph College was pegged to finish in fifth place (59 pts.), followed by Guilford (56), W&L (48), Randolph-Macon (36), Eastern Mennonite (30), Bridgewater (21) and Emory & Henry (13).
The Generals bring back six seniors from last year’s squad that finished 8-7-2 (5-5 ODAC) before falling to Hampden-Sydney in the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament.
W&L returns four of its top five scorers from a season ago, led by senior midfielder Jamie Paldino (Kensington, Conn./Kingswood-Oxford) who finished the 2010 season with seven points on three goals and one assist.
Senior midfielder Connor Pierce (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) and junior defender Conor Starr (Summit, N.J./The Pingry School) also return as team captains after tying for third on the team last season with four points (2g) apiece. Senior midfielder Huntley Johnson (Gainesville, Fla./St. Francis) rounds out the top returning scorers after finishing the 2010 campaign with three points on one goal and one assist.
On the defensive end, juniors Basti Richter (Gauting, Germany/Darlington School) and Collier Wiseman (Danville, Va./George Washington) will look to anchor a defense that allowed an average of 1.18 goals per game and posted seven shutouts last season.
W&L opens its 2011 campaign at Bluefield College on Sept. 1 at 7:00 pm.