FOREST, Va. – The Yellow Jackets' men's soccer team is ranked fifth in the 2017 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) preseason poll, as voted on by league's head coaches and released by the conference office. R-MC finished fourth in last year's standings with a 5-3-1 conference record and marked a 10-5-3 overall record. It was the team's best overall finish since 2005 when the Yellow Jackets were 12-4-2.
R-MC scored 34 goals in 16 games, averaging 1.81 goals per game. That effort marked the most goals R-MC had scored in 12 seasons (2004, 36 goals). The team received votes in the D3soccer.com National Top 25 poll and got an emphatic win in October over Washington & Lee when the Generals were ranked #10 in the same survey. Washington & Lee is ranked at the top of this year's preseason poll with 115 points and eight first-place votes. Lynchburg and Roanoke round out the top three respectively.
The team also played a pair of strong matches in the ODAC Tournament last year, beating Virginia Wesleyan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. R-MC took Lynchburg to overtime in the semifinals where the Hornets scored the season-ending goal.
Sophomore Anthony Astruc (Glen Allen/Benedictine) returns to the team in 2017 after being named to the ODAC All-Conference third team last year. Astruc and senior Bryan Lutz (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson) led the team in scoring last year with six goals apiece.
In goal, the Yellow Jackets are set to return junior Brian Breslin (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson), who tallied a .759 save percentage and started all 18 games for R-MC last season.
2017 will mark head coach Josh Laux's third season with R-MC. He's tallied a 19-15-3 overall record and 10-9-1 record in the ODAC since joining the Yellow Jackets before the 2015 season.
This is the first season for assistant coach Andrew Schaefer, another alum of Randolph-Macon College and the Yellow Jackets' soccer program. He was the team's leading scorer in Laux's first year.
The team will host the Yellow Jacket Classic in Ashland on Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 2. R-MC will take on Wesley at 1:30 on Friday and Neumann on Saturday. Virginia Wesleyan University will also participate in the Classic.
|2017 ODAC MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL|
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Washington and Lee University (8)||115 pts.|
|2. Lynchburg College (3)||111 pts.|
|3. Roanoke College (1)||103 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan University||87 pts.|
|5. Randolph-Macon College||80 pts.|
|6. Randolph College||66 pts.|
|7. Bridgewater College||55 pts.|
|8. Eastern Mennonite University||51 pts.|
|9. Guilford College||38 pts.|
|10. Hampden-Sydney College||35 pts.|
|11. Emory & Henry College||30 pts.|
|12. Shenandoah University||21 pts.|