The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2008 preseason women's soccer coaches poll on Wednesday afternoon and Washington and Lee was picked to finish fourth out of the league's 12 teams.
Virginia Wesleyan earned the top spot with six first-place votes and 134 points, followed by Lynchburg with four first-place nods and 127 points. Roanoke received one first-place vote and 123 points to place third. W&L totaled 119 points and one first-place nod to take the fourth slot, while Eastern Mennonite (90), Guilford (89), Randolph-Macon (66), Bridgewater (58), Emory & Henry (57), Randolph (28), Sweet Briar (23) and Hollins (22) rounded out the poll.
Washington and Lee finished last season with a 16-4 overall record and a 9-2 conference mark. The Generals return 11 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team, including a majority of the starting defense.
Senior forward Anne Van Devender (Jackson, Miss./Choate Rosemary Hall), senior defender Marisa Van Brunt (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) and junior midfielder Roz Klann (Denver, Colo./George Washington) headline the returnees after earning First Team All-ODAC honors last fall. Additionally, Van Devender was named the ODAC Player of the Year and garnered First Team All-State, First Team All-Region and Second Team All-America honors. Van Brunt earned First Team All-State and Second Team All-Region accolades, while Klann also was named Second Team All-State.
Van Devender led the Generals in scoring with 40 points (15g, 10a) and her 15 goals were good for sixth all-time at W&L. Her 10 assists rank fifth all-time, while her 40 points represent the fourth-best season total in school history. Van Devender's career point total (116 pts.) already ranks third all-time. Van Brunt started 19 games for the W&L defense and helped the Generals allow an average of just 0.68 goals per game with 11 shutouts, while Klann was the team's second leading scorer with 17 points (8g, 1a).
W&L opens its 2008 season on the road at the Transylvania University Tournament in Lexington, Ky. The Generals kick off the tournament on Sept. 6 against Centre at 5:00 pm.
2008 ODAC Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes first place votes
1. Virginia Wesleyan 134 (6)
2. Lynchburg 127 (4)
3. Roanoke 123 (1)
4. Washington and Lee 119 (1)
5. Eastern Mennonite 90
6. Guilford 89
7. Randolph-Macon 66
8. Bridgewater 58
9. Emory & Henry 57
10. Randolph 28
11. Sweet Briar 23
12. Hollins 22