DURHAM, N.C.—The Atlantic Coast Conference released its annual men’s soccer preseason poll Wednesday as voted by the league’s 12 head coaches. The Blue Devils were picked to finish seventh in the 12-team league, with Maryland selected to retain the title.
Duke is two points behind sixth-place Clemson and edged Boston College by four points. Maryland, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Virginia are the top five respectively. The Terrapins received 10 first-place votes, while Wake Forest and Notre Dame split the final two.
The Blue Devils, under the direction of sixth-year head coach, return 23 players from last season’s squad that finished 8-8-2. Senior defender Sebastien Ibeagha headlines the squad. He recently was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List and has been voted to various preseason All-America squads. Sean Davis, a junior midfielder, joins Ibeagha as a captain and will anchor the midfield. Both were All-ACC picks from a year ago.
Five new faces will be on the sideline for Duke in 2013 with redshirt senior Alex Long joining a group of four freshmen. Long is a transfer from South Carolina. He is accompanied by newcomers Jimmy Doll, Jared Golestani, Brody Huitema and Seo-In Kim.
Duke will host Old Dominion in the final exhibition game Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils officially kick off the year in the John Rennie Nike Invitational Aug. 30 – Sept. 1. Duke hosts Rutgers in the season opener at 7:30 p.m.