Building off of last season's successes, both the Virginia men's and women's soccer teams start the 2014 campaign ranked No. 3 by the NSCAA/Continental Tire National Pre-Season Rankings. Both teams had finished at that spot at the end of last season.
The women are coming off of a 24-1-1 record, with their only loss coming in the College Cup to eventual national champions UCLA. Returning for the Hoos is senior midfielder and First Team All-Universe (that's a thing (that's not a thing)) Morgan Brian, nominee for the top female college athlete ESPY. Brian, the current MAC Hermann Trophy recipient and the TopDrawerSoccer.com Player of the Year, was a consensus 2013 first-team all-american and played on the US Women's National Team. She is joined by junior forward Makenzy Doniak, senior midfielder Danielle Colaprico and junior defender Emily Sonnett, all of whom were named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Best XI teams. Brian, Colaprico and Doniak were all named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List just today.
Among the Virginia women's 2014 ranked opponents are Florida State (2), Virginia Tech (5), Notre Dame (16), Duke (18), Boston College (19), and Wake Forest (21).
The men, 13-6-5 last season, had an impressive run to the College Cup before ultimately falling to Maryland in the semifinals. They are led by senior midfielder Eric Bird, who was named today to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. Bird had received third team all-american honors from both NSCAA and Soccer America last season, leading the team with seven goals and five assists.
Among the men's 2014 ranked opponents are Notre Dame (1), Georgetown (9), Wake Forest (11), North Carolina (22) and Old Dominion (25).
The women have an exhibition game in Michigan on August 15 against Michigan State, and you can first catch them in Charlottesville in an exhibition against VCU on August 18 at 7:00 p.m. You can catch the men in action on August 16 in an exhibition game in Charlottesville against Rutgers at 7:00 p.m.