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ODU Picked To Win CAA Men's Soccer Championship In 2011

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: August 15, 2011
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Aug. 15, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. (August 15, 2011) - Old Dominion, which returns seven starters from last year's 10-7-2 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, is predicted to capture the CAA men's soccer title in 2011 according to a vote of the league's 12 men's soccer coaches. ODU, ranked 26th by College Soccer News hosts Virginia Tech Tuesday at 7 pm. In an exhibition match at the ODU Soccer Complex.

The Monarchs claimed the top spot in the poll after receiving six first-place votes and 112 total points. VCU picked up one first-place tally and was second in the voting with 102 points while defending CAA champion William and Mary got four first-place votes and was third with 90 points. George Mason was fourth with 87 points, 2009 CAA champion UNC Wilmington placed fifth with 80 points and Northeastern, which also received a first-place vote, was sixth with 79 points. Hofstra, which reached the CAA championship game a year ago, was picked seventh, followed by James Madison, Drexel, Towson, Delaware and Georgia State.

Old Dominion is coming off its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the past nine years in 2010, upsetting perennial national power Virginia in the opening round. The Monarchs welcome back a pair of All-CAA honorees with sophomore forward Gideon Asante (4g, 2a) and junior midfielder Jordan LeBlanc (5g, 2a). Also returning are senior defender Tommy Webb, junior midfielder Chris Harmon (7g, 3a) and junior forward Yannick Smith.

VCU went 8-5-6 overall and placed second in the CAA last season in head coach Dave Giffard's inaugural campaign. The Rams return seven starters from that squad including sophomore All-CAA forward Jason Johnson (4g, 3a), CAA All-Rookie midfielder Romena Bowie, senior defender Nick Rich and senior goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos (0.95 GAA, 3 Sho).

William and Mary captured its first CAA title since 2000 a year ago and advanced to the final 16 of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The Tribe, which went 15-4-3 and finished last season ranked No. 9 in the nation, returns junior All-CAA midfielder Ben Anderson (3g, 6a), senior midfielder Nicolas Abrigo (7g, 2a), who was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 CAA championship, and CAA All-Rookie defender Roshan Patel.

George Mason has seven starters back from last year's team that finished 8-7-2. Among the returnees for the Patriots are senior midfielder Ryan Gracia (1g, 4a), senior All-CAA defender Eric Zuehsow and CAA All-Rookie midfielder Alex Herrera.

Traditionally regarded as one of the top men's soccer conferences in the nation, the CAA has sent multiple teams to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 13 of the past 16 seasons and has had at least one team advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA's in six of the last nine years.

2011 CAA MEN'S SOCCER PRE-SEASON COACHES POLL

1. Old Dominion (6 first-place votes) 112 2. VCU (1 first-place 102 3. William and Mary (4 first-place votes) 90 4. George Mason 87 5. UNCW 80 6. Northeastern (1 first-place vote) 79 7. Hofstra 67 8. James Madison 53 9. Drexel 40 10. Towson 37 11. Delaware 30 12. Georgia State 15

(Teams received 11 points for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)

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