Wake Forest Picked Second in ACC Preseason Poll
Aug. 10, 2012
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's soccer team was picked to finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season - the Demon Deacons' highest-ever preseason selection - in a vote of the conference's 11 head coaches.
The Demon Deacons have established themselves as one of the top teams in the ACC over the past few seasons, reaching the ACC Championship Match in each of the past two years and winning the 2010 conference title.
Wake Forest returns 10 starters and 91 percent of its scoring from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA College Cup for the first time in program history. Headlining the returnees are junior All-Americans Aubrey Bledsoe and Katie Stengel, along with fellow junior Rachel Nuzzolese, who ranked second on the team in scoring behind Stengel in 2012.
The Deacs also bring back the core of their back line in co-captains Jackie Logue and Alisha Woodson, and sophomore Kim Marshall. In the midfield, Wake Forest will boast experienced players Kristen Meier, Ally Berry, Marisa Park, Riley Ridgik and Jackie McSally.
Defending regular season champion Duke was picked to finish first in the conference, earning 10 first place votes, and 2011 tournament champion Florida State received the other first place vote, coming in at third place in the poll. Perennial power North Carolina was picked to finish in fourth place, and Virginia was close behind in fifth place.
Rounding out the preseason poll were Boston College (sixth place), Maryland (seventh), Virginia Tech (eighth), Miami (ninth), NC State (10th) and Clemson (11th).
This season in the ACC is once again poised to be a challenging one as five ACC teams were ranked in the top 10 of the NSCAA preseason poll and all 10 of the conference's top scorers from 2011 are returning in 2012.
Wake Forest will play its lone exhibition match of the season on Saturday at College of Charleston before opening the regular season on Aug. 17 against Richmond in Blacksburg, Va.
2012 ACC Preseason Poll
1. Duke (10), 119 points