FOREST, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2018 men's soccer preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday and Washington and Lee came in second, claiming 128 points and three first-place votes.
Lynchburg claimed the top spot in the poll with 140 points and nine first-place votes while Roanoke took the final first-place vote and received 122 points to come in third. Randolph-Macon earned 105 points and placed fourth and Virginia Wesleyan rounded out the top-five with 89 points.
Hampden-Sydney received 86 points to come in sixth and Bridgewater claimed 77 markers to place seventh, as Eastern Mennonite (73), Randolph (58), Ferrum (54), Guilford (33), Shenandoah (30) and Emory & Henry (19) rounded out the poll.
The Generals are coming off their second consecutive season with a 15-5-2 overall record, which included a 7-2 mark in ODAC play. Despite falling in the ODAC Championship game, 2-1, to Lynchburg, the Generals received an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III Championship. There, W&L defeated Mary Washington, 2-0, and moved past Oglethorpe on penalty kicks before the season came to an end in the Sweet 16 by a 3-0 margin to North Park.
W&L returns a plethora of experience to the 2018 team, including a pair of 2017 First Team All-ODAC performers in senior midfielder Will Hamryka (Dawsonville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian School) and junior defender Oliver Dolberg (Clovis, Calif./Floyd B. Buchanan). Senior midfielders Kevin Lencioni (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and Viktor Dolberg (Clovis, Calif./Floyd B. Buchanan) also return. Hamryka and Oliver Dolberg led the 2017 team in goals with six and five, respectively, with Viktor Dolberg and Lencioni combining for five goals and three assists.
Among other returning players to the 2018 unit are sophomore forward Harry Pinkerton (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and senior forward Dylan Ritch (Mint Hill, N.C./Independence), who both contributed four goals apiece last season. Ritch led the team in assists (six) and points (14) last season and was the 2016 ODAC Player of the Year.
The Generals will look for their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this fall when they open the 2018 campaign on Friday, Aug. 31, against Oglethorpe at 4:30 pm on the campus of Emory University as part of the Sonny Carter Invitational.
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