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