FOREST, Va. – Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men’s soccer coaches picked Guilford College ninth in their annual preseason poll announced Thursday. The Quakers earned 38 points in the 12-team ratings.
Washington and Lee University collected eight first-place votes and 115 points to top the poll, followed by defending league champion Lynchburg College. The Hornets received three first-place votes and 111 points, eight better than third-place Roanoke College, which had one top nod.
Guilford’s second-year coach Cory Speed returns four starters among 18 letter winners from last season’s 6-9-3 unit that reached the ODAC Tournament for the first time since 2012. Sophomore midfielder Ricky Aguilar is back after a stellar rookie campaign in which he led the team with 17 points on seven goals and three assists. The Second Team All-North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association selection ranked among the ODAC’s top-10 in goals and points per game.
Junior forward Jake Grieco (1 goals, 4 assists) and senior forward Omar Solis (3 goals, 2 assists) are other returning scoring leaders. Omar’s cousin, senior Edgar Solis, has appeared in 45 career contests, tops on the team. Michael McShane is the team’s third senior and will challenge for the starting goaltender’s job after the graduation of two-year starter Eric Hayes ’17.
The Quakers open the season September 1-2 in a tournament hosted by Birmingham Southern College. Guilford plays the University of the South on opening day and the host Panthers the following afternoon. The Quakers’ home opener is September 6 versus Ferrum College and they start league play September 23 versus Shenandoah University.
2017 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Washington and Lee (8) 115 points
2. Lynchburg (3) 111
3. Roanoke (1) 103
4. Virginia Wesleyan 87
5. Randolph-Macon 80
6. Randolph 66
7. Bridgewater 55
8. Eastern Mennonite 51
9. Guilford 38
10. Hampden-Sydney 35
11. Emory & Henry 30
12 Shenandoah 21