Maryland tops the poll with 72 points and three first-place votes, while North Carolina is in a close second with 71 points and four first-place votes. Wake Forest rounds out the top three, earning the final two votes. Boston College and Virginia edged the Blue Devils for fourth and fifth, respectively.
Duke is coming off of an 11-8-3 season in 2011, finishing third in the ACC. The Blue Devils, under fifth-year head coach John Kerr, welcomes back five starters and 19 letterwinners. Senior James Belshaw and junior Sebastien Ibeagha will captain the young squad that features 16 freshmen and sophomores.
Belshaw recently was named to the College Soccer News preseason All-America second team. The freshman group was voted 16th by College Soccer News and is highlighted by 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year Luis Rendon. Duke also welcomes Jack Coleman, a transfer student-athlete from Indiana.
The Blue Devils open the 2012 campaign Saturday, Aug. 25 at Notre Dame, ranked 18th in the Soccer America preseason poll. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., at Alumni Stadium. The game will be streamed live free of charge at UND.com.
ACC Preseason Poll
|Rk.||Team (1st Place)||Points||Overall||ACC|
|2||North Carolina (4)||71||21-2-3||5-1-2|
|3||Wake Forest (2)||60||8-8-5||4-3-1|