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August 19, 1998

BERKELEY, Calif. – The Virginia womens soccer team is ranked sixth in the 1998 Soccer America Preseason poll released today. The Cavaliers, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, are also ranked sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll. Virginia is joined in the top ten by two other ACC-schools, defending NCAA-champion North Carolina (No. 1) and Clemson (No. 7). No other conference has more than a single school in the top ten.

The Cavaliers return eight starters from a team that went 14-5-2 last year. Two of those starters, forward Angela Hucles (Norfolk, Va./Norfolk Academy) and sweeper Karem Esteva (Westport, Conn./Staples) were named All-Americans by the NSCAA. Hucles was a second-team All-American while Esteva was a third-team All-American. These two, along with goalie Megan Boehm (Columbia, Md./Howard), were first-team All-ACC in 1997.

The top three schools in the 1998 preseason poll all advanced to the NCAA semifinals last year, while the fourth school in the 1997 semifinals, Connecticut, is ranked fifth in the preseason. Virginia will face six of the top 14 teams in the poll during the regular season.

The Cavaliers, who opened their preseason yesterday (Aug. 18), will play an exhibition game against a club team on August 25 at Klockner Stadium. A game time has yet to be announced. Virginia will open the regular season on the road against George Washington. The game against the Colonials is set to begin at 4:00 pm. The Cavaliers will open their home slate on Saturday, September 5 against James Madison. The game against the Dukes is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.

The entire poll is listed below, with 1997 records.

RK. SCHOOL              '97 RECORD    1. North Carolina          27-0-1 2. Santa Clara             20-3-1 3. Notre Dame              23-1-1 4. Florida                 20-3-1 5. Connecticut             23-4-0 6. VIRGINIA                14-5-2 7. Clemson                 15-7-0 8. William & Mary          20-5-0 9. Hartford                19-2-110. Nebraska                18-4-011. Texas A&M               18-3-012. Portland                14-6-013. Maryland                12-9-314. Duke                    14-6-115. Harvard                 13-4-216. Michigan                18-4-117. Georgia                 15-6-118. UCLA                    19-3-019. Brigham Young           19-4-020. SMU                     18-5-1
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