ODAC Coaches Pick Va. Wesleyan to Repeat
Roanoke, W&L Round Out Top Three in Men's Preseason Soccer Poll
SALEM, Va. --- Defending Old
Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) champion Virginia Wesleyan
College garnered eight first place votes to claim the top spot in
the annual men's soccer preseason coaches poll. Roanoke
College (two first place votes) and Washington and Lee University
sit second and third, respectively.
VWC used penalty kicks to get past Eastern Mennonite University in the 2005 championship game to win its second title in three seasons and eighth overall. The Marlins clashed with a tough York College (Pa.) squad in the NCAA Division III national tournament's opening round, falling to the Spartans 3-2.
Head coach Sonny Travis welcomes back two of his three top scorers in All-ODAC First Team midfielder Ryan Cassel (five goals, six assists) and junior forward James Monastra (seven goals). All-ODAC Honorable Mention midfielder Evan Small adds extra experience to the Marlins' transition game as they look to repeat as the conference leader in team goals scored with 50 last season.
Roanoke must replace its top two scorers from a season ago including All-ODAC First Team striker and two-time Roanoke College Male Athlete of the Year, Chris Keating. Defender Donny Smith, the 2005 ODAC Co-Player of the Year, is also gone. First Team midfielder Eric Eversole (four goals, two assists) leads head coach Scott Allison's Maroons as they look to avenge last season's early exit from the ODAC tournament.
Much like Roanoke, Washington and Lee's exit from the conference tournament came at the hands of Eastern Mennonite, albeit one game closer to the title match. Skipper Rolf Piranian, the 2005 ODAC Coach of the Year, looks to surpass last year's finish as all three of his top scorers return to the pitch including All-ODAC First Team striker Jack Palmer (11 goals, two assists) and Second Team midfielder Josh Dodds (six and three).
Listed below is the entire 2006 ODAC coaches poll. For a more in-depth view into each of the teams, please visit the ODAC on the web at www.odaconline.com.
2006 ODAC Men's Soccer Coaches Poll
Ranking (1st place votes)
1. Va. Wesleyan (8)
2. Roanoke (2)
3. Washington and Lee
6. Eastern Mennonite
9. Emory & Henry (1)