Washington and Lee's men's and women's soccer teams have both been selected to finish third in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference this season according to the 1997 preseason coaches polls released Monday. The men's team was picked third behind Roanoke and Virginia Wesleyan, while the women's team was chosen to finish behind Randolph-Macon and Roanoke.
The men's team, which reached the championship game of the 1996 ODAC tournament, returns three first team All-ODAC performers from last season's record setting 12-6 squad. The defense will once again be anchored by junior back Mikel Parker. Parker has been named first team All-ODAC in each of his first two seasons, and last year, he also earned third team All-America status, becoming just the second W&L soccer player ever to recieve that honor. Junior Sam Chase and sophomore Jamie Parker also return after first team all-conference selections in 1996. Parker and Chase were the Generals' top two scorers last season, as Parker set school record for goals (20) and points (41) in a season, breaking the marks set by Chase just one year earlier. Chase tallied 11 goals and four assists in 1996, and already ranks sixth on W&L's career points list with 63. The Generals open the season on Sept. 11th, when they travel to Shenandoah for a nonconference game.
The women's team also set a new school record for wins in a season last year en route to a 12-5 overall record and a second place regular season finish in the ODAC. Heading the list of returnees for the Generals are senior Erica Reineke and junior Karin Treese, the number two and three all-time scorers at W&L respectively. Reineke enters the season with career totals of 32 goals, 15 assists and 79 points, while Treese, a first team All-ODAC and second team All-South region selection in 1996, has 32 goals, 13 assists and 77 points. On the defensive side of the ball,W&L will be led by senior sweeper Claire Bowers (1st team All-ODAC and 1st team All-State in 1996) and junior back Nicole Johnson (2nd team All-ODAC and 3rd team All-South region in 1996). W&L will begin the 1997 season on Sept. 13 as they host Kenyon College on the Liberty Hall Fields at 1:00 pm.
Men's Poll 1. Roanoke 2. Virginia Wesleyan 3. Washington & Lee 4. Hampden-Sydney 5. Eastern Mennonite 6. Randolph-Macon 7. Emory & Henry 8. Lynchburg 9. Guilford 10. Bridgewater
Women's Poll 1. Randolph - Macon 2. Roanoke 3. Washington & Lee 4. Virginia Wesleyan 5. Lynchburg 6. Guilford 7. Randolph-Macon Women's College 8. Sweet Briar 9. Emory & Henry 10. Hollins