DURHAM, N.C.- Soccer America has tabbed the Duke men’s soccer team 21st in the preseason national poll released on August 22.
Five of the Blue Devils opponents are ranked in the preseason top-25 poll, including No. 4 Maryland, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 11 Boston College, No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 19 Wake Forest. Connecticut was picked as No. 1 and Akron as No. 2 in the preseason poll. Duke opens the 2012 regular season at Notre Dame on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Duke returns five starters from a season ago, including 2011 first team All-ACC goalkeeper James Belshaw. The leading returning scorer from the 2011 Blue Devils is Nick Palodichuk, who tallied seven goals and six assists.
Under the direction of fifth-year head coach John Kerr, Duke is looking to make the NCAA Tournament for an impressive 26th consecutive season. The Blue Devils finished the 2011 season with a record of 11-8-3 and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament, losing in overtime to New Mexico 2-1.
Duke opens its 2012 home schedule versus Santa Clara in the John Rennie Nike Invitational Tournament on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Koskinen Stadium. The men’s soccer team will play 11 home matches this season.