Lynchburg Tops ODAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

Washington and Lee, Roanoke Round Out Top Three

FOREST, Va. --- Two-time defending ODAC champion University of Lynchburg opens the 2018 campaign as the favorite to hoist the program's fourth piece of conference hardware in the past five years as the Hornets stand atop the ODAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll.

Lynchburg earned nine first place votes from the league's head coaches on the way to securing 140 total points in the annual survey. Washington and Lee University sits second with 128 tallies and a trio of top nods, while Roanoke College rounds out the top-three with 122 markers including the remaining first place vote.

Eight of the conference's then 12 squads registered .500 or better winning percentages in 2017, leading to a conference tournament that featured four one-goal games of the seven contests. Eventual champion Lynchburg needed late heroics from ODAC Rookie of the Year Bhayle Kearns in the 106th minute for a 3-2 double-overtime victory over Randolph-Macon College in one semifinal. Washington and Lee joined the Hornets in the title game with a 4-1 semifinal win over Randolph College.

In the championship tilt, Lynchburg got a sixth minute goal from Jack Ashby and another inside the first minute of the second half from Fredy Flores to provide cover for an 87th minute tally by W&L's Tyler Runge. The 2-1 victory marked the Hornets' 16th men's soccer conference championship, the most in league history.

RELATED: 2017 ODAC Tournament Results

Lynchburg was joined by at-large selection Washington and Lee in the NCAA tournament bracket, affording the conference its third and fourth national field entries over the past two seasons. Both squads earned wins in the first round. Lynchburg, playing at home, took down Penn State-Abington, 3-0, before falling to Emory University, 1-0, in round two.

Washington and Lee also hosted early round competition and took advantage of the home venue with a 2-0 win over the University of Mary Washington in the opening contest. Goals were plentiful in round two against Oglethorpe University with the two squads playing to a 3-3 draw after 110 minutes of regulation and extra time. The Generals proved one better from the spot, advancing passed the Stormy Petrels, 5-4, on penalty kicks.

W&L saw its season come to a close in the sectional round in Chicago, Ill. The Generals fell 3-0 to host North Park University in a contest that featured poor weather conditions.

RELATED: 2017 NCAA Tournament Results

There will be plenty of opportunity for new athletes to make a name for themselves in 2018 with less than half of the 36 All-ODAC honorees from 2017 set to return to league rosters. That list does include seven All-ODAC First Team selections, with five each from the All-ODAC Second and Third Teams also back on team sheets.

The seven first teamers feature for five different schools. Lynchburg and Washington and Lee welcome back a pair each. The Hornets return four strong pieces to their defense led by centerback Austin Kues and goalkeeper Dylan McLaurin. That pairing, along with the return of second team outside back Ryan Pikunas and third team fullback Kearns, will help alleviate the loss from graduation of ODAC Player of the Year, centerback Nate Berning.

For Washington and Lee, Oliver Dolberg returns to his outside back position. He's joined by a fellow first teamer in midfielder Will Hamryka. Hamryka, along with the return of third team forwards Harry Pinkerton and Dylan Ritch, form the backbone of a strong attack.

The remaining first team returners cover the entire pitch. Eastern Mennonite University centerback Emmanuel Boamah is a two-time first team selection. Anthony Astruc is the string-puller and creative force out of the midfield for Randolph-Macon's attack. Forward Adam Watson has been a clutch goal-scorer for Randolph College the past two seasons with six of his 16 combined goals proving to be game-winners.

RELATED: 2017 All-ODAC Awards

New to the men's soccer ranks in 2018 is the addition of a 13th squad, Ferrum College. The Panthers officially became the ODAC's 15th full-time member institution over the summer. The men's soccer program, under the guidance of second-year head coach Enda Crehan, went 9-8-2 last season and earned a spot in the USA South Athletic Conference quarterfinals. The Panthers are led by All-USA South Second Team defender Graham Holley and playmaker Michael Lions.

The 2018 season begins with non-conference play on Friday, August 31. The first set of ODAC contests is slated for Wednesday, September 19. The ODAC Tournament, comprised of nine teams, opens with first round action on Friday, October 26 followed by the quarterfinals on Sunday, October 28. The highest remaining seed will host the semifinals and finals on Saturday-Sunday, November 3-4.

If you can't make it to the games, be sure to check the schedules online for live video, audio and statistics links.

Listed below is the 2018 ODAC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll as well as preview capsules for each of the ODAC men's soccer programs and preseason interviews with Lynchburg head coach Chris Yeager and W&L head coach Mike Singleton.  For more information on ODAC men's soccer, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. University of Lynchburg (9) 140 pts.
2. Washington and Lee University (3) 128 pts.
3. Roanoke College (1) 122 pts.
4. Randolph-Macon College 105 pts.
5. Virginia Wesleyan University 89 pts.
6. Hampden-Sydney College 86 pts.
7. Bridgewater College 77 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite University 73 pts.
9. Randolph College 58 pts.
10. Ferrum College 54 pts.
11. Guilford College 33 pts.
12. Shenandoah University 30 pts.
13. Emory & Henry College 19 pts.

2018 Poll Position: 7th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 7-10-1/4-4-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #6/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (W&L, 2-0)
Head Coach: Ryan Bennison
Overall Record/Yrs: 55-67-4 (.453)/7
Record at BC/Yrs: 55-67-4 (.453)/7
ODAC Record/Yrs: 33-35-4 (.486)/7
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Thomas White (F)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 13 | Thomas White
  Goals: 5 | Thomas White
  Assists: 3 | Leo Alcantara/Thomas White
  Saves: 96 | Quentin Boric
    2018 Poll Position: 8th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-7-0/4-5-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #8/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (LYN, 2-0)
Head Coach: Dr. Roger Mast
Overall Record/Yrs: 240-237-43 (.503)/27
Record at EMU/Yrs: 240-237-43 (.503)/27
ODAC Record/Yrs: 108-121-22 (.474)/27
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Emmanuel Boamoah (D)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 9 | Dave Drafton/Caleb Oakes/Jesus Trejo
  Goals: 4 | Caleb Oakes/Jesus Trejo
  Assists: 3 | Joshua Chiquillo/Dave Drafton
  Saves: None
2018 Poll Position: 13th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 5-13-1/0-8-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Robert Richardson
Overall Record/Yrs: 24-60-6 (.300)/5
Record at E&H/Yrs: 24-60-6 (.300)/5
ODAC Record/Yrs: 6-41-4 (.160)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 17 | Tyequis Stallins
  Goals: 7 | Tyequis Stallins
  Assists: 3 | Tyequis Stallins
  Saves: 63 | Cole Irvin
    2018 Poll Position: 10th
2017 Records - Overall/USAS: 9-8-2/5-4-2
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (N.C. Wesleyan, 2-0)
Head Coach: Enda Crehan
Overall Record/Yrs: 9-8-2 (.526)/1
Record at FC/Yrs: 9-8-2 (.526)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: First season
Returning All-USAS Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Graham Holley (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 12 | Michael Lions
  Goals: 4 | Moore Dolue
  Assists: 6 | Michael Lions
  Saves: 51 | Derek Thomas
2018 Poll Position: 11th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 2-16-0/2-7-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Cory Speed
Overall Record/Yrs: 9-25-3 (.284)/2
Record at GC/Yrs: 9-25-3 (.284)/2
ODAC Record/Yrs: 4-11-3 (.306)/2
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 12 | Ricky Aguilar
  Goals: 5 | Ricky Aguilar
  Assists: 2 | Ricky Aguilar
  Saves: 57 | Zach Van Kampen
    2018 Poll Position: 6th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-7-1/5-4-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #5/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (R-MC, 2-1)
Head Coach: Tommy DiNuzzo
Overall Record/Yrs: 25-57-8 (.322)/5
Record at HSC/Yrs: 10-7-1 (.583)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 5-4-0 (.556)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 12 | Jacob Mann/Hunter Weiland
  Goals: 4 | Jacob Mann/Hunter Weiland
  Assists: 4 | Spell Carr/Jacob Mann/Hunter Weiland
  Saves: 38 | Gray Sutter
2018 Poll Position: 1st
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 18-2-2/8-0-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #1/Champion (W&L, 2-1)
2017 NCAA Tournament: def. PSU-Abington (3-0) in 1st round; eliminated by Emory (1-0) in 2nd round
Head Coach: Chris Yeager
Overall Record/Yrs: 186-99-37 (.635)/16
Record at LC: 186-99-37 (.635)/16
ODAC Record/Yrs: 90-40-26 (.660)/16
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Austin Kues (D), Dylan McLaurin (GK)
  Second Team: Jack Ashby (M), Ryan Pikunas (D)
  Third Team: Bhayle Kearns (D-ROY), Ben Mackey (M)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 14 | Sherman Mitchell
  Goals: 6 | Sherman Mitchell
  Assists: 7 | Abibi Osman
  Saves: 63 | Dylan McLaurin
    2018 Poll Position: 9th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 10-9-0/4-5-0
2016 Tournament - Seed/Result: #7/Eliminated in Semifinals (W&L, 4-1)
Head Coach: Adam Godwin
Overall Record/Yrs: First season
Record at RAND/Yrs: First season
ODAC Record/Yrs: First season
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Adam Watson (F)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 21 | Adam Watson
  Goals: 9 | Adam Watson
  Assists: 5 | Evan Blow
  Saves: 37 | Erick Cortez-Martinez
2018 Poll Position: 4th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 14-3-1/6-2-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #4/Eliminated in Semifinals (LC, 3-2 2OT)
Head Coach: Josh Laux
Overall Record/Yrs: 137-97-24 (.578)/14
Record at RMC/Yrs: 33-18-4 (.636)/3
ODAC Record/Yrs: 71-46-12 (.597)/14
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Anthony Astruc (M)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Paul Duffy (D)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 11 | Anthony Astruc
  Goals: 4 | Anthony Astruc
  Assists: 3 | Anthony Astruc/Paul Duffy/Christian Torres
  Saves: 56 | Brian Breslin
    2018 Poll Position: 3rd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 13-5-1/8-1-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #2/Eliminated in Quarterfinals (RAND, 2-1)
Head Coach: Ryan Pflugrad
Overall Record/Yrs: 58-27-11 (.661)/5
Record at RC/Yrs.: 58-27-11 (.661)/5
ODAC Record/Yrs: 35-8-7 (.770)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 11 | Jose Robertson
  Goals: 4 | Jose Robertson
  Assists: 4 | Atticus Cooke
  Saves: 4 | Alex Sullivan
2018 Poll Position: 12th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 2-15-1/0-8-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Matt Smith
Overall Record/Yrs: 242-60-20 (.783)/19
Record at SU/Yrs: 2-15-1 (.139)/1
ODAC Record/Yrs: 0-8-1 (.056)/1
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 7 | Andres Garces/Nick Seymour
  Goals: 3 | Nick Seymour
  Assists: 3 | Andres Garces
  Saves: 93 | Sam Fischer
    2018 Poll Position: 5th
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 8-8-1/3-5-1
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: Did not qualify
Head Coach: Chris Mills
Overall Record/Yrs: 52-29-13 (.622)/5
Record at VWU/Yrs: 52-29-13 (.622)/5
ODAC Record/Yrs: 28-14-9 (.637)/5
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
  Second Team: Ricky Perrault (F)
  Third Team: None
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 14 | Ricky Perrault
  Goals: 6 | Ricky Perrault
  Assists: 4 | Devin Wallace
  Saves: None
2018 Poll Position: 2nd
2017 Records - Overall/ODAC: 15-5-2/7-2-0
2017 Tournament - Seed/Result: #3/Runner-up (LC, 2-1)
2017 NCAA Tournament: def. Mary Washington (2-0) in 1st round; tied Oglethorpe (3-3 | adv. 5-4 on PKs) in 2nd round; eliminated by North Park (3-0) in sectional round
Head Coach: Mike Singleton
Overall Record/Yrs: 92-37-12 (.695)/7
Record at W&L/Yrs: 57-19-8 (.726)/4
ODAC Record/Yrs: 30-7-3 (.788)/4
Returning All-ODAC Players
  First Team:
 Oliver Dolberg (D), Will Hamryka (M)
  Second Team: None
  Third Team: Harry Pinkerton (F), Dylan Ritch (F)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders
  Points: 14 | Will Hamryka/Dylan Ritch
  Goals: 6 | Will Hamryka
  Assists: 6 | Dylan Ritch
  Saves: 3 | Alex Harper